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Mystery of the NUDE NYMPH 

UNCENSORED " 



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jm 




S. 



<*t»qtZ CHEATING 






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From the sinister shadows of the underworld comes 
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lovers caught in the rip-tide of big city vice and greed 



ADAM and Helen were young and fine— strangers to 

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uniensoRED 
DETEITIUE 

VOL. 2, NO. 6 
DECEMBER, 1946 

^ ^ i o n t e n t s 

6 IT HAS HAPPENED HERE By Jerome Janes 

G.I. riot in Tenn. is a dangerous precedent. 

8 UNHOLY CRIME OF THE CHEATING LOVERS By Harlan Mendenhall 

A husband returns from war to become a domestic casualty. 

12 CASE OF THE GUN-CRAZED WIFE KILLER By Wayne Roberts 

Trigger hoppy fugitive goes on tilling spree. 

16 I HELPED FLEECE THE SUCKERS By June Rexton 

The inside dope on the Florida Hotel racket. 

20 SECRET OF THE REAPPEARING LOG CHAIN By E. C. Mackey 

Who besides the killer knew of the chain? 

«* 

24 BLOODY TRAIL OF THE CHINESE ARMY MURDERER By Clell Morgan 

The workings of the Oriental mind ore strange indeed. 

28 MYSTERY OF THE NUDE NYMPH By Hal White 

And for her sins she perished. 

32 STRANGE CLUE OF THE AVOCADO PEAR By Bennett Wright 

Secret of the forbidden fruit. 

UNCENSORED SPECIAL FEATURES 
34 WOMEN IN THE NEWS 36 PATHOS 

UNCENSORED DETECTIVE published monthly by Uncensored Detective. Ik., at Washington and 
South Avenues, Dunellen, N. J. Executive and Editorial offices, 535 Fifth Avenue, N. T. City 17, 
Vol. 2. No. 6, December, 1946. Printed in the United States of America. Price 15c a copy. 12 issues 
S1.80, in the U. S. A. Copyright 1946 by Uncensored Detective, Inc. Entered as second-class 
matter November 21, 194S at the post office at Dunellen, New Jersey, under the Act of March 3rd, 
1879. The publishers accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and all manuscripts 
should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. 



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IT HHS HRPPEHED HERE 




LOSERS 

Deputy Sheriffs shown in a cell of the McMinn County jail 

alter surrendering the battle and the election to the vets. 



WINNERS 

Ex G.l.s and supporters waiting for orders during the six 

hour siege caused by opposing party stealing ballot boxes. 



RECENTLY 3 group of angered ex- 
servicemen banded together un- 
der the leadership of a politically 
ambitious ex-Navy officer, and 
ised ;irmed force to overpower 
he oca! officials of Athens, 
Term., -ind make them political pris- 
oners. 

! he purpose of the revolt was to 
insure a fair tabulation of the votes 
1 1st in an election in which ex-G.I. 
candidates ran for offices. 

When world-travelled Athens boys 
returned home from service they be- 
ame increasingly aware of the in- 
idequacies of their local administra- 
tion. They found it sadly lacking in 
comparison to others they had ob- 
served around the country. So, full 
of ambition, and the will to right the 
\ rongs in their own backyard as 
they had just done all over the world, 
they formed a G. I. Independent Party. 
They selected their candidates from 
the town's veterans, and entered the 
Jtate elections. They decided to offer 
some competition to the well-en- 
trenched political machine headed 
by State Senator Paul Cantrell. 

The Independents carried on .1 
serious campaign and won over many 
of the machine's followers with their 
platform for clean, progressive gov- 
ernment. The political machine soon 
found the veterans a real threat to 
their continuance in power and felt 
the very foundations of their organiza- 
tion beginning to waver. 

Election day arrived and the 
desperate officials realized that un- 
less drastic action was taken, their 
lung coveted political spoils were lost. 
The sheriff and his loyal deputies 
seized the ballot boxes and secreted 
them in the McMinn County jail for 
"safekeeping and impartial counting." 
The G. I. Independents felt the in- 
tegrity of the custodians of the ballot 
boxes was not all it should be. and 
decided m equally drastic counter 
measure was necessary. 

A call to arms was raised over 
'he countryside. It was not long 



before the towns vets and their local 
supporters roared into the village in 
every conceivable conveyance. Armed 
with shot guns, rifles and war 
souvenirs they were hastily formed 
into platoons under ex-officers and 
noncoms. 'War Plans" were con- 

ived and executed, and the Battle of 
the Ballot Boxes had begun. 

The local officials barricaded them- 
selves in the jail house to withstand 
he siege. The attackers used all the 
tactics of street fighting and jungle 
warfare that until recently had been 
part of their occupation. A steady 
stream of lead was poured into the 
jail house while demolition experts 
using pill box breaking techniques 
exploded several charges of dynamite 
in an effort to Hush their enemy out 
into "he open. This proved to be 
more than the sheriff and his men had 
anticipated, after twenty persons had 
been wounded, they waved the tra- 
ditional white flag and ended the six 
hour battle. They marched out of 
'he ]ail with hands in the air and 
conceded the election. 

Despite the noble purpose for 
which these veterans rioted and threw 
the corrupt politicians out of office. 
legally they are guilty of leading an 
insurrection. The formation of an 
armed mob. and inciting it to rebel 
against legally constituted authority, 
is a threat to our democratic princi- 
ples and the security of our govern- 
ment, regardless of whether the group 
is composed of veterans, farmers, 
laborites, etc. 

There are too many un-American 
groups at work in our midst today 
breeding confusion and unrest among 
our citizens. They hope to provoke 
open revolution against our govern- 
ment, and the success of the Tennessee 
not gives added impetus to their 
cause. 

The failure to prosecute and punish 
the perpetrators of this riot gives 

By JEROmE JRHIES 



confidence to the leaders of these un- 
American groups. They feel a prec- 
edent for immunity has already been 
established, and should their coup fail, 
they would not be punished either. 
It is easy to incite a certain dissatis- 
fied fringe of our population to re- 
volt, under the guise of "cleaning 
out the grafters," or some other seem- 
ingly worthy crusade. However once 
the first shot has been fired, the first 
martyr hanged, or even the first store 
window broken, a fearful toll of in- 
nocent victims are doomed before law 
and order can be restored. 

MOB psychology is an intricate 
frightening phenomenon. A mob is 
unthinking, it is easily intoxicated 
with its own power, and lacks reason. 
The individuals that constitute its 
strength may each be peaceful, law 
abiding citizens, but once banded to- 
gether and aroused to action, they are 
capable of the most hideous crimes. 
None of which, any one member would 
have committed on his own. There is 
, feeling of security, and "we're all in 
this together," which is akin to the 
adage "misery loves company," that 
permeates the group. 

We have seen recently in Europe 
and the Far East how well-planned 
mob psychology can throw whole na- 
tions into a senseless suicidal war 
because unscrupulous jingoists play 
cleverly on the prejudices and desires 
of their fellow countrymen. 

It is easy to sit back and say, "it 
can't happen here in the U. S." but 
it can happen here, and has happened 
on a small scale in Athens, Tenn. The 
American people cannot be apathetic 
to this danger and must take a firm 
stand now. 

Let every would-be Fuehrer and 

Commissar know, that this country, 

and we its citizens, will not tolerate 

any form of revolution on our land. 

Too much blood has been already shed 

to keep the Bill of Rights from 

becoming just another scrap of 

paper. 



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VETERAN 

Frank Smith's returning: home from the army proved to be 

embarrassing for his wife and her lover. So they killed him. 



FAITHLESS WIFE 

Grace Smith, plotted her spouse's death 

and misled the investigating officials, 



DRESSED in a low-cut nightgown 
the slim body of the brown- 
haired young woman stood sil- 
houetted in the doorway of her 
home. She was wringing her 
hands and crying desperately 
She seemed unconscious of the cold 
February night. Patrolmen Walter 
Norvelle and Guy Rogers hurried up 
the steps of the eight-room frame cot- 
tage located on the out-skirts of Har- 
risonburg, Virginia 

Swinging the screen door open, she 
cried, "Oh please, hurry! Something 
awful has happened.'' 

Inside the house, the two city pa- 
trolmen looked around. 

"What's wrong, lady? " Rogers 
asked. "We got the call over the 
radio to get here as fast as we could." 

The woman didn't wait to answer 
them. She hurried on ahead of the 
two officers down the hallway to the 
room on her left. She stopped sud- 
denly, then backed away from the 
doorway, horrified. She was pointing 
to the bathroom floor. 

"In there," she said. "There is blood 
all over the room." 

A moment later, Rogers and Nor- 
velle were by her side. In the center 
of the bathroom floor was a large 
pool of blood. The walls were alio 
splattered with blood. 

After surveying the scene for a 
moment, Rogers looked in the room 
next door. It was a bedroom, and it 
was empty. The covers of the bed 
were turned back as if someone had 
been preparing to retire for the night. 
Rogers noticed the two pillows. He 
turned back to the woman, huddling 
in one corner of the hallway. 

"Where is your husband?" he asked. 

"He went down to watch the fire at 
the United Brethren Parsonage and 
he hasn't come home yet." 

Rogers frowned. "Are you sure?" 

"No, but I think so. I have been 
out walking with my girl friend. 
When I came back I was so tired that 
I fell on the bed and rested for a , 
few minutes before getting ready for 
bed. I had an idea Frank had met 



AN UNWELCOME HUSBAND 



AMERICAN LEGION 

buddy made funeral arrangements for 

victim; police learned he was killer. 



some of his old friends and would be 
home later. I put on my nightgown, 
then went to the bathroom to wash 
my face. The light was off in the 
bathroom. When I turned it on, I saw 
the blood and called the police." 

Rogers glanced at his watch. It was 
10:30 P.M. He said to the woman, 
"About what time did you get home?" 

"About 15 or 20 minutes ago."' 

"And when did you leave here?" 

"About 7: 30 or a few minutes 
later." 

'No one was around when you came 
back home?" Rogers asked. 

"No, sir." 

"We better have a look around," 
Rogers said. 

The young woman, realizing sud- 
denly that she had on only her night- 
gown, rushed into the bedroom and 
.slipped into a robe. Then she fol- 
lowed the officers. 

Rogers and Norvelle went from 
room to room until they came to the 
kitchen. On top of the kitchen table 
were two half-empty pint bottles of 
gin. 

Rogers said, ''Did you have a party 
here tonight?" 

The young woman shook her head. 
"Not a party. One of my girl friends 
came over to dinner tonight. We had 
a few drinks, that's all." 

Rogers pointed to a door at one side 
of the kitchen. "Where does that 
lead?" he asked. 

"To the basement." 

"Have you looked down there yet?" 

The young woman shook her head 
vigorously. "No, sir. I was afraid to." 

Rogers nodded to Norvelle, and the 
two officers started down the stairs. 

The basement was small. The first 
things the officers saw as they reached 
the bottom of the stairs were two large 
tubs and a washing machine. Just 
ahead of them were a couple of 
chairs. On the bottom step, Patrol- 
man Rogers stopped suddenly. He 
was staring at something in the dim 
light just at the right of the stairs. 
Without turning around to face Pa- 
trolman Norvelle, he stepped up close 



Unholy Crime 
of the 




LOWERS 



By HHRMII mEnDEilHRLL 



and said, "My God look over there!" 

Barely visible in the dim light com- 
ing through the kitchen door above 
was the bloody body of an underwear- 
clad man. Around his neck was a 
rope. The rope was tied to a large 
beam across the top of the basement. 

"Maybe he's not dead yet," Nor- 
velle said quickly. t 

Rogers nodded. He hurried to the 
man's side, felt for the pulse. 

"Dead all right,," Rogers said, "but 
his body's still warm. We'd better get 
the Chief down here fast." 

Rogers and Norvelle started back 
up the basement steps. Standing, sil- 
houetted against the kitchen light 
was the young woman. 

"What . . . what did you find?" she 
asked. 

"Better prepare yourself for a shock, 
lady." Rogers was making it as easy 
as he knew how. "There's a dead man 
downstairs, hanging from a rope. You 
better come down and have a look at 
him, maybe you can tell us who he is. 
Looks to us like murder." 

The woman screamed. She flung 
her hands across her face and slumped 
to the floor, sobbing bitterly. Rogers 
hurried up the stairs and half carried 
the woman to a chair. Norvelle got 
a glass of water. 

While Rogers was trying to revive 
her, Norvelle telephoned Chief of 
Police William J. Kean, asked him 
to come immediately to the home at 
60 North Willow Street. 



BY THE time Norvelle had com- 
pleted his call, the woman said 
she would go to the basement to 
try to identify the body. Rogers and 
Norvelle supported her as she walked 
down stairs. Rogers turned his flash- 
light on the face of the dead man. 

The woman grabbed Rogers' arm 
md squeezed tightly. Her screams 
shook the walls of the house. "No . . . 
No . . . Oh! My God . . . it's Frank!" 
The woman collapsed. 

Rogers and Norvelle carried her 
back upstairs and placed her on the 
bed. In the medicine cabinet in the 
bathroom, Rogers found a small bottle 
of ammonia. A few moments later 
they had revived the woman. Rogers 
started asking her the routine ques- 
tions. 

She said her name was Mrs. Grace 
Smith. Her husband had been dis- 
charged from the Armed Forces on 
December 31, 1944, because of his 
age, 39. On January 15, 1945, he had 
gone back to work on his old job at 
the Rockingham Motor Company in 
Harrisonburg. Mrs. Smith, about 35 
years old, said she was a secretary in 
an insurance firm, in Harrisonburg. 

But Rogers was far more interested 
in what had gone on in the Smith 
home that night of February 20, 1945. 

"I got off work at 4 o'clock," she 
said. Her words were slow, measured. 
"My friend, Mrs. Dorothy Bell, came 
home with me for dinner. On the road 
home we stopped at the ABC Liquor 



IS "REMOVED" SO THAT HIS WIFE'S ILLICIT ROMANCE CAN CONTINUE UNINTERRUPTED 




POLICE CHIEF 

William Kean, examining hammer found 

in basement where body was found. 

Store and got two pints of gin. As 
soon as we got home we started pre- 
paring dinner. Frank arrived about 
6:15 or 6:30. Dinner was all ready, 
so he cleaned up and we started eating." 

Mrs. Smith twisted nervously at the 
small handkerchief in her hands. 
"About 7:30, just after we had dinner, 
we heard the fire sirens not far from 
our home. Frank telephoned and 
found out the fire was at the United 
Brethren Parsonage. Frank said he 
was going down there and watch it for 
a while. 

"A tew minutes after Frank had 
gone I saw the ambulance pull up 
across the street at our neighbor's 
home. I went over to see w r hat was 
wrong. I found out that there was a 
death in the neighbor's home." Grace 
Smith cleared her throat. 

"There was so much confusion 
around there for a whiie that I don't 
remember what did happen, but some- 



time later Dorothy's boy friend came 
by the house. We talked for a while, 
then all of us started to Dorothy's 
home. Down by the park we stopped 
and talked for a while. 1 don't remem- 
ber just how long. Then I came back 
home. I was very tired and went im- 
mediately to my bedroom. I laid down 
for a while to rest. Frank didn't seem 
to be around and I had an idea that 
he had probably met some of his old 
buddies and was probably drinking 
beer and talking. 

"It was about 10:30 when I went 
into the bathroom to wash and get 
ready for bed. When I turned the 
light on, I found that pool of blood 
on the floor and blood splattered all 
over the walls. I was so scared I 
didn't know what to do. I called you 
just as fast as I could." 

"You didn't see Frank at all after 
you came back from your walk?" 

Mrs. Smith nodded. "That's right." 

Patrolman Rogers got up from the 
chair on which he had been sitting. 
He walked back and forth across the 
floor. "Mrs. Smith," he said suddenly. 
"Do you have any idea who killed 
your husband''" 

"No." she said slowly. 

The front door bell started ringing. 
It was Police Chief Kean and Officer 
G. W. Joseph. Rogers quickly told 
them what had happened. He took 
them to the bathroom, then to the 
basement. The officers were still ex- 
amining the body when County Cor- 
oner F. L. Byers arrived. 

Joseph made pictures of the body. 
Byers said Smith had been dead about 
an hour, then he removed the body 
to a funeral home to complete his 
examination. 

Kean looked the basement over 
carefully. Underneath a wash tub 
there, he found a small claw hammer. 
It was covered with blood. 

"I have a hunch." Kean said, "that 
this little hammer knows a lot of 
things. Too bad it can't talk. Who 
knows — maybe it can." 




The Chief handed it to Officer Jo- 
seph and told him to make sure that 
no fingerprints were destroyed. 

On the way back upstairs, Kean 
examined the bloodstains on the slept 
There was more blood at the top of 
the stairs in the doorway that led into 
the kitchen, and another poo] in the 
kitchen near the sink. 

Kean said, "Some fight, hub^" 

"But why hang him?" Joseph asked 

"Probably tried to make it look like 
a suicide." 

"With blood all over the house''" 

"The killer probably intended to 
clean it up before he left. But some- 
one surprised him and he didn't get to 
finish the job.'" 

Kean telephoned Dorothy Bell, Mrs. 
Smith's girl friend, told her what had 
happened and asked her to come to 
the Smith home as soon as possible to 
remain with Mrs. Smith. 

After that, Kean sent Rogers, Nor- 
velle and Joseph on a bell-ringing job 
through the neighborhood to ask if 
there had been any strangers near the 
Smith home that cold, February night. 

Kean had another talk with Mrs. 
Smith. She thought it was about 7:45 
or perhaps 8 o'clock when she left her 
home with Dorothy and about 9:45 
or 10 when she returned. 

That meant then that sometime be- 
tween 7:45 and 9:45. Frank Smith had 
entered his house and started getting 
ready for bed. During that same lapse 
of time the killer, or killers, had en- 
tered the Smith home, killed the vet- 
eran' and left before Grace Smith re- 
turned. 

LOCATING this man or men would 
not be easy. The confusion jusl 
across the street from the Smith 
home, where the neighbor had died, 
would not help the situation 

As soon as Dorothy Bell arrived a 
few minutes later, Kean questioned 
her in the living room. She confirmed 
what Mrs. Smith had already told him 
about the dinner and the time when 
they had left the Smith home. Mrs 
Bell was so shocked by the tragedy 
that she could not think of a possible 
suspect in the case. 

Chief Kean left the two women 
alone ,and went outside. Across the 
street there was still a large crowd. 
So far no one there Tiad any idea that 
a murder had been committed at 60 
North Willow. 

The driveway leading from the 
street to the Smith home was graveled. 
No chance to find any tire tracks 
there. Kean walked on around the 
cottage checking with his flashlight 
for footprints but found none. 

Apparently the killer had walked 
into the home through the front or 
rear entrance, and waited until he saw 
Smith and the others leave the house 
Or maybe he had waited until Smith 
came home, followed him inside, then 
killed him. 

Kean was standing at the front of 
the Smith home when Policeman Jo- 
seph came hurrying up the sidewalk 
from the house next door. The woman 
who lived there, Mrs. M. A. Green, 
had told Joseph some very interesting 
things. 

Mrs. Green said that she had heard 
the ambulance drive up across the 
street and had come out on her front 
porch to see what was wrong. That 

TELEPHONE DIRECTORY 

with torn out page found in suitor's home 

provided FBI men with vital evidence. 



SMITH HOME 

became a bloody slaughter house when 

the cheating lovers committed murder. 

was about 8 o'clock. While she was 
standing there, she saw two men drive 
up in front of the Smith home. Both 
men got out and went to the front 
door. One of the men knocked on the 
door and a moment later they both 
went inside. 

Kean nodded. "Good. Could she give 
you a description?" 

"Just fair. She didn't think she had 

ever seen them before. They were both 

' about medium size and she guessed 

their ages to be around 35 or 40. Both 

men were dressed in dark suits." 

"What time did they leave?" 

"She didn't see their car drive away, 
but she said she went back out on her 
porch again about 10:15 or 10:30 and 
it was gone then." 

"Not much help," Kean said, frown- 
ing. 

It began to look as if there had been 
a regular parade to the Smith home 
the night of the murder when Rogers 
and Norvelle returned a few minutes 
later. They had been talking with 
another neighbor, Mrs. R. B. King, 
who told the two policemen that she 
had seen a large black Buick sedan 
drive to the Smith home about 9 or 
9:30. One man got out of the car and 
went inside the home. 

"That's not half the story," Rogers 
said. "This Mrs. King told me she had 
seen this same black sedan come to the 
Smith home many times during the 
past year, before Frank Smith got 
back from the Army." 

Kean frowned. "Did she have any 
idea who the man is?" 

"No, but she said this was the first 
time the man had been back to the 
Smith home since Frank Smith got out 
of the Army." 

"Hmm . . . interesting!" Kean said, 
rubbing his chin slowly. 

"We'd better have a* little talk with 
this man, if we can locate him!" 

Kean handed Officer Joseph the as- 
signment of checking the personnel at 
the Rockingham Motor Company, 
where Smith had been employed, and 
to look for leads there. 

Rogers and Norvelle were to find 
out who Grace Smith's close friends 
were, chiefly by checking at the in- 
surance company where the woman 
was employed. 

Kean started to return to head- 
quarters with the bloody hammer, but 
suddenly changed his mind. He went 
back inside the Smith home, asked 
Mrs. Smith about the big black sedan. 

Mrs. Smith smiled faintly. "Oh, they 
must have been talking about my 
brother, O. F. Maxwell. He has a 
black sedan and he came to see me 
quite often during the last year. He 
lives at Fisherville, if you want to 
talk with him. These gossipy neigh- 
bors around here probably got the 
wrong idea." 

"Thanks," Kean said. "We were 
just curious." Then he left, filing the 
"black sedan" information in the back 
of his mind. 

At headquarters, Kean immediately 
took the small hammer to his labora- 
tory man to have it tested for finger- 
prints. But he drew a blank. The 
killer had evidently used gloves. 

Because of the late hour, the officers 
made little progress checking on the 
background of Frank Smith and his 
wife that night. The following morn- 
ing, however,,they were ibackon/the job. 




AFTER sleeping on the case, Kean 
was convinced he was dealing with 
some pretty smooth operators. And 
he called in State Trooper E. E. Kiser 
to assist him. 

Kiser suggested they contact all the 
cleaning establishments in Harrison- 
burg and the surrounding cities, and 
ask them to keep an eye out for any 
bloody clothing brought in for clean- 
ing. Kiser took over this job. 

To assist County Coroner Byers on 
the examination of the dead man's 
body, Chief Kean called- in Dr. J. R. 
Cash, expert on such matters, from the 
University of Virginia. 

The two doctors, working together 
on the body, found that the wound 
over the victim's right eye was in the 
form of a crescent. The hammer which 
had been picked up in the basement 
of the home fitted the shape of the 
wound exactly. There was another 
wound above the victim's left eye. It 
had been made with a smaller instru- 
ment, probably the set on a large ring. 
Smith's skull had not been fractured 
by the blow from the hammer. The 
blow had been strong enough only to 
knock him unconscious. 

Smith's death had been caused by 
strangulation. He had lost between 
one-half and three-quarters of a pint 
of blood. 

Doctor Cash explained that it would 
take about ten minutes for Smith to 
bleed that much from the wound 
above his right eye. 

Kean was sitting at his desk think- 
ing, when Officer Joseph came in from 
the Rockingham Motor Company with 
three men about Smith's age. He in- 
troduced them to Kean as T. D. 
Howell, Bob Stillwell and Marvin 
Taylor. Taylor was a regular em- 
ployee of the Rockingham Motor Com- 
pany. The other two men hung around 
the garage a great deal and were good 
friends of Taylor's and Frank Smith's. 

Joseph motioned to Howell and 
Stillwell. "These two fellows are the 
ones who visited the Smith home 
about 7:30 the night of the murder. 



They say that they went there to get 
Frank to join them in a poker game, 
but found no one at home so left a 
few minutes later." 

Kean eyed the two men. "You 
walked right into the home when no 
one answered your knock?" 

"That's right," Howell said, taking 
out a cigarette and lighting it. "You 
see. Chief, we are very good friends 
of Frank's and we always walk in 
after knocking first. Sometimes Frank 
is down in the basement and doesn't 
hear us." 

"Where did you go after yon left 
the Smith home?" 

"To this poker game we were telling 
you about. We looked around down- 
town for Frank for a few minutes, 
and couldn't find him, so we got 
someone else." 

"Would you tell me where this game 
was held? (Continued on page 56) 

OFFICER 

G. Joseph learned from neighbors of 

wife's frequent male visitors after dark, 




A ROUTINE INVESTIGATION OF A PROWLER TURNS INTO A THREE STATE 



WIDE MURDER MANHUNT FOR A MAD KILLER 




PLUNGE 

Swiff flowing Delaware River Is shown from point 

where culprit leaped from bridge after gun battle. 




THE week-long rains that had 
flooded western New Jersey at 
last subsided and the flat, green 
countryside resumed its usual 
serene atmosphere. Sergeant Cor- 
nelius A. O'Donnell, affable com- 
mander of the Washington Barracks. 
Mew Jersey State Police, felt at peace 
with the world on this quiet Sunday 
afternoon of July 15th, 1945. 

It was shortly after four o'clock 
vhen a call came tn. To Sergeant 
O'Donnell it sounded [ike a fairly rou- 
tine report. A suspicious character 
was seen prowling around some 
chicken houses at Brainards. a small 
town eight miles west of the police 
barracks. O'Donnell knew that with 
the acute meat shortage, poultry and 
livestock had been disappearing from 
neighboring farms with alarming 
regularity. He therefore decided to 
;iive the report his personal attention. 
Summoning Trooper Frank C. 
Perry, the sergeant led the way out 
to their patrol car and in a few mo- 
ments the two officers were speeding 
toward Brainards. By skimming along 
the shorter back roads, they arrived 
in the town in a matter of minutes and 
quickly sought out the woman who 
had complained about the prowler, 

"You just missed him," the excited 
woman told the policemen. "He left 
-i few minutes ago." 

"Which way did he go?'' Sergeant 
O'Donnell asked. 

The woman pointed to a narrow 
cinder road. "He headed down that 
path toward the river,-" she said. "You 
may be able to head him off." 

Without further delay, the officers 
nosed their car around and sped 
down the narrow road to where the 
winding Delaware River separates 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The 
cinder road ended abruptly at a rail- 
road trestle which connected the two 
thickly wooded river' banks. 

COLD-BLOODED 

thug fired at State Troopers when they 
attempted to arrest him as a prowler. 



Case off the 



SERGEANT 

O'Donnell, veteran N. J, State Trooper, 

who was shot with his own revolver. 



WIFE KILLER 



The patrol car rolled to a stop and 
the officers alighted in time to see a 
swarthy -faced, hatless man hurrying 
across the trestle. 

Sergeant O'Donnell called to the 
man to halt, but instead of complying, 
the man broke into a run. 

"That must be our prowler," the 
sergeant surmised. "Let's go after 
him." 

The two troopers dashed after their 
quarry, but by the time they had 
reached the opposite shore, he had 
disappeared. 

"He must be in the woods." O'Don- 
nell told Perry. "You stay here in 
the clearing while I try to flush him 
out." 

With that, he cautiously picked his 
■way into the dense brush that flanked 
the railroad tracks. 

O'Donnell Jiad advanced several 
yards when suddenly the hatless man 
stepped from behind a tree, brandish- 
ing a crude wooden club. The ser- 
geant did not see the blow that 
crashed down on his head 
with enough force to send 
him reeling. As O'Donnell 
fell to the ground, the as- 



sailant swooped over, snatched the of- 
ficer's revolver from its holster, and 
darted off into the brush. 

Stunned from the blow but other- 
wise uninjured, the sergeant regained 
his feet and caught a glimpse of the 
fugitive circling back toward the rail- 
road trestle. O'Donnell quickly re- 
joined Perry and the two troopers 
promptly gave chase. 

Sprinting up the wooden catwalk 
of the bridge, the officers were gain- 
ing steadily on their quarry, and were 
almost close enough to nab him with 
a flying leap. 

Then it happened. Without warn- 
ing the armed prowler whirled around 
and fired at point-blank range. Two 
shots rang out in quick succession. 
Simultaneously, Sergeant O'Donnell 
clutched his abdomen and slumped 
down, mortally wounded 

Trooper Perry dropped on one knee 
to present a smaller target, whipped 
his own .38 Colt Special into action 
and returned the fire. The third shot 



By UlRVnE ROBERTS 



from the gun-crazed fugitive tore into 
Perry's chest. Undaunted, the trooper 
continued blazing away. 

The felon staggered once, then 
dashed abruptly to the edge of tht 
trestle, vaulted the guard-rail and 
plunged thirty feet into the swirling. 
rain-swollen river. 

Unmindful of the searing pain in 
his chest. Trooper Perry emptied his 
gun at the head bobbing along in tht 
swift current, but the churning waters 
offered little chance for a 'good shot. 

Perry turned then, and with the loss 
of blood rapidly draining his energy, 
dropped at the side of the wounded 
sergeant. 

O'Donnell, by this time had slipped 
into semi -consciousness, and a widen- 
ing crimson stain had spread across 
the front of his tunic. 

"I . . . I'm done, Frank,'' he mut- 
tered as Perry leaned close. "Maki 
. . . sure . . . they get that man,'' 
With that, the courageous sergeant 
closed his eyes. 

At the sound of running 
feet, Trooper Perry looked up 
gratefully. Several towns- 
men, attracted by the shooi- 



ing, were hurrying across the bridge. 
The first to .arrive at the scene of the 
crime was Frank Dornish, a local inn- 
keeper. 

"Go back to the police car,'' Perry 
managed to gasp between breaths. 
"The two-way radio, contact the sta- 
tion for help." That was all the 

'.minded trooper was able to say be- 
fore he, too, lost consciousness. But 
it was enough to send Dornish scurry-, 
ing hack to the patrol car. 

Detective Fred Bodenstein was on 
duty at the station when Dornish 
finally succeeded in establishing con- 
taet on the short wave. After hearing 
the story, Bodenstein immediately 
swung into action. He dispatched a 
-.quad of troopers to the scene, called 
the Warren hospital for an ambulance. 
then notified Lieutenant H. A. Cibulla 

it section headquarters. 

Flash ,m .ilarm for ail cars to 
be on the lookout," the lieutenant 
>ld Bodenstein. "The thug is prob- 
ably still armed. I'll notify the Penn- 
sylvania Police and meet you in 
VJrainards in fifteen minutes." 

LESS than a quarter of an hour later. 
squads of officers, heralded by 
streaming sirens, converged on 
both sides of the railroad trestle. The 
Pennsylvania State Police sent most 
il is force from Easton. while on the 
New Jersey side, every available man 
was issigned to the case. Reserves 
poured m .from each station in Hie 
■section. 
Lieutenant Cibulla took charge and 



promptly set up field headquarters 
with the aid of the two-way radio in 
his patrol car. 

Before ambulance attendants re- 
moved the two wounded officers, 
Trooper Perry regained consciousness 
long enough to talk to Cibulla. He 
could not explain why a prowler, 
guilty perhaps of a misdemeanor. 
should start a gun battle to escape ap- 
prehension, but he gave what descrip- 
tion he could on the fugitive. He said 
the man was about thirty years old, 
of medium build, had dark hair, a 
swarthy complexion, and unusually 
long, dangling arms. 

The lieutenant briefed his men on 
these details, and formed search 
parties of four men each. With drawn 
guns, the troopers plunged into the 
dense thicket on both banks of the 
river, They were determined to 
avenge the wanton shooting of their 
two brother officers. 

From his two-way radio, Cibulla 
established contact with the highway 
patrols and ordered that all highways 
be cut off from Belvidere. ten miles 
north of Brainards. to Easton and 
Phillipsburg, seven miles to the south. 
Roads east and west of the river were 
also blocked forming a rough square 
in which the fugitive, if he had not yet 
secured transportation, must still be 
lurking. 

This done, Cibulla assigned a task to 

Detective Bodenstein and Trooper 

John Gimon. Examine every foot of 

the ondge." *he lieutenant directed. 

In his haste, the thug may have 

MANHUNT 

Trooper Carrol, N. J., Cpl. Horton, N. Y., and Pvt.- Wtntztl, Pa. art shown here with 

Pinky, famed bloodhound. Officers of throe states and dogs took part in search. 



dropped some bit of evidence that 
will help the investigation." 

When Bodenstein and Gimon 
reached the center of the 600-foot 
span, they had something to report. 
Several dark red stains were splat- 
tered on the wooden catwalk. 

"I'm sure they're bloodstains." 
Bodenstein told the lieutenant. "And 
they haven't been there long, either." 

"That clinches what we already 
suspected," Cibulla replied. "The 
thug, whoever he is, caught at least 
one of Perry's bullets. And those 
stains probably mark the spot where 
he vaulted the iron railing. Get your 
portable fingerprint kit to work on 
that railing, there may be some im- 
pressions on it." 

While waiting for a report on this 
angle Lieutenant Cibulla sent out a 
requ t for bloodhounds to aid in the 
searcn. If, as Cibulla hoped, the fugi- 
tive was still hiding somewhere in the 
woods, the well-trained dogs might 
track him down. 

He was informed that the nearest 
station with bloodhounds was the 
Hawthorne Barracks of the New York 
State Police. It would take some time 
to transport the dogs from there. 

Impatiently, he again buzzed the 
highway patrols. Every automobile 
and truck in the vicinity was being 
^topped and searched, he was told, 
hut there was no sign of the fugitive. 
Reports from the men in the woods 
wore equally discouraging. 

FRUITLESS hours slipped by. and 
Hue to the heavy overcast, darkness 
settled early, hampering the search- 
ing parties. Undeterred, the troopers 
brought out flashlights and the cone- 
shaped beams probed the thick under- 




brush that lined the banks of the river. 

All through the moonless night the 
manhunt continued in an effort to 
discover, if nothing else, the point 
where the fugitive had clambered out 
of the river. 

It was Detective Bodenstein who 
discovered the first significant clue. 
Dusting the guard rail for fingerprints, 
he had brought out a latent palm print 
at the point where the fugitive had 
jumped off the bridge. Bodenstein 
reported his find to Cibulla. 

'"Have it photographed," the lieu- 
tenant directed. "When we catch up 
with this guy, the palm print will 
help make a positive identification." 

Further comment was interrupted 
by the clear, matter-of-fact voice of 
the radio dispatcher on the short 
wave. The news caused Bodenstein 
and Cibulla to bow their heads in re- 
spectful silence. 

Despite all efforts to save him, 
Sergeant O'Donnell had died from his 
wounds during the night. In addition, 
Trooper Perry was placed on the 
critical list but was given a fifty-fifty 
ihance to pull through. 

"We're looking for a killer, now," 
Lieutenant Cibulla said grimly, "a 
desperate killer." And both he and 



in tracking down killers and criminals. 

The dog's trainer. Corporal William 
Horton, hopped out of the driver's 
seat and reported to Cibulla. 

While the two men were deciding 
on a plan of action, another police 
car rolled up and Captain D. J. Dunn, 
commander of Troop B alighted. 

Cibulla brought the captain up to 
date on the details of the case and 
outlined the blockade that had been 
thrown around the area to trap the 
fugitive. 

Dunn waited for the lieutenant to 
finish, then said, "The fact that the 
killer hasn't been nabbed leaves us 
with three possibilities. First, he may 
have caught one of Perry's slugs in 
a vital spot and is now at the bottom 
of the river. In which case, there'd be 
no great loss and the state would save 
a bundle of dough. The second possi- 
bility is that he made a quick get- 
away after the shooting and eluded 
the patrols. But, since we have no 
evidence to point otherwise, we'll go 
along on the belief that he's still in 
the woods." 

Captain Dunn had no sooner fin- 
ished his observations than Trooper 
Edward Carroll came hurrying over 
the trestle. He and township police- 



slogged out of the river at this point. 

"There's something else here," Vcdo 
said, pointing to an object imbedded 
in the black ooze. "Whoever came out 
of the water here left one of his 
shoes." 

Lieutenant Cibulla bent over and 
extracted the shoe from the mud. It 
was an ordinary man's black oxford 
and had apparently been pulled off 
its wearer's left foot while the laces 
were still tied. 

'This is better than having a cast 
of the footprints," the lieutenant ob- 
served. "Now, let's see what the 
bloodhounds can do with it." 

Corporal Horton called the dogs to 
heel and gave them the shoe. The 
dogs nosed around the shoe, sniffed 
over to the footprints, then set off into 
the thicket with the officers trailing 
them. 

PRESENTLY, the footprints were 
lost in the underbrush, but the dogs 
continued on. Finally, they came 
nut of the woods beside highway 611. 
"That's bad," Corporal Horton said. 
Then, in answer to Cibulla's quizzical 
look, "These hounds can follow any 
icent as long as it's clear and uncon- 
laminated. If anything like exhaust 










HUNTING SHACK 

where double murderer cowered in fear while policemen 

angrily battered down the door and took him in custody. 



RECOVERY 

of O'Donnell's service revolver, which assassin threw 

into the river was possible by using an electromagnet. 



Bodenstein knew then that there 
would be no let-up until the murderer 
had been captured and brought to 
justice. 

Sergeant O'Donnell had been a pop- 
ular officer during his eighteen years- 
in the department. He had made 
many friends and was respected by 
policemen and civilians alike. 

It was a tragic end for a useful citi- 
zen, and as word of the sergeant's 
death was relayed to his fellow of- 
ficers, the manhunt took on renewed 
vigor. The sergeant's last words were 
echoed as a pledge — "Get that man." 

It was shortly after dawn when a 
station wagon of the New York State 
Police pulled up alongside Lieutenant 
Cibulla's car. In the back of the sta- 
tion wngon were the two famous 
bloodhounds, Queenie and Pinky, who 
had gained something of a record 



man Frank Vedo had been searching 
along the Pennsylvania shoreline. 

"We found footprints in the mud." 
Carroll announced. "They lead out of 
the river about a mile downstream." 

"That would be a good place for the 
dogs to start," Corporal Horton put 
in. "I'll get them out." 

"Right," Cibulla agreed. "Let's get 
going." 

"I'll stand by at the radio car," Dunn 
told the lieutenant. "You go ahead 
with the bloodhounds." 

With Trooper Carroll in the lead, 
the officers lost no time in getting the 
dogs to the spot where the footprints 
had been found. 

Patrolman Vedo was standing at the 
muddy riverbank when the others 
came up. 

The churned mud gave unmis- 
takable evidence that someone had 



fumes or oil are mixed in, the dogs 
are licked. So, if the killer took off 
along this highway, we've got trouble." 

"This highway has been patrolled 
constantly since yesterday afternoon," 
the lieutenant said. "I don't see how 
he could have gotten through." Even 
as Cibulla spoke, a police cruiser hove 
into view and sped past. 

The lieutenant's attention was 
drawn abruptly back to the antics of 
the dogs. Queenie and Pinky, sniffing 
the gravel shoulder of the highway 
had circled once, then set off again, 
back into the woods! 

Panting and sniffing, the dogs 
plunged through the underbrush along 
an uncertain, winding trail. They 
came to a halt at the brink of the 
liver less than two hundred yards 
from where they had started. 

That's the (Continued on pope 37) 



"COME'RE YOU 

little tramp," cried Forrester as Alice struggled to 

break his grasp and escape with his wallet as planned. 




I Helped Fleece 

IHE SUCKERS 



X 



JUNE 

tired of car-hopping wanted 
cut of the real big dough, 



A SUNNY PLAYGROUND FOR MILLIONAIRES 
AND SPENDERS IS A HAPPY HUNTING 
GROUND FOR RACKET BOYS AND GIRLS 



had a good racket but wasn't 
smart enough to stick to it, 



ALICE 

was an old man's darling gal 
but wanted more than gifts, 



DAN 

played bis part well and I 

like a dope fell for 



By JUHE REKTOn 



ONLY a gambler with his last cent 
riding the back of a horse or on 
the turn of a card could con- 
ceivably understand how I felt 
that day as the sober faced judge 
cleared his throat and prepared 
to pronounce my sentence^ 

The day was warm outside the 
courtroom. Its rays pierced the high 
windows and motes of dust danced in 
the beams. On my left twelve men 
who had just found me guilty of con- 
spiracy to defraud sat silently in the 
jury box. 

The prosecutor stood on my right. 
His expression was smug and self- 
satisfied. He looked rather like a cat 
who had swallowed a particularly suc- 
culent canary. 

Waldron, my own lawyer, sat at 
my side, his hand reassuringly on my 
arm. The court clerk intoned hol- 
lowly, "The defendant will rise while 
sentence is pronounced upon her." 

I stood up. My knees shook like an 
electric vibrator and I hoped that my 
skirts concealed that fact from the 
spectators. My face was pale beneath 
its rouge and there was a horrible 
empty apprehension in the pit of my 
stomach. 

In another moment I would know 
whether I was free or whether I would 
spend the next few years of my life, 
surrounded by iron walls and prison 
discipline. 

The judge fixed me with an expres- 
sionless eye. He said. "June Ellen 
Rexton, have you anything to say be- 
fore sentence is pronounced upon 
you?" 

I didn't dare to trust my voice. I 
shook my head. 

"Very well. It is my duty to sen- 
tence you to a term of five years in 
the. State Penitentiary at Raiford. 
However in view of the fact " 

But I didn't hear any more. A dizzi- 
ness enveloped me. A black fog 
swirled into my eyes. My knees 
buckled and I fainted dead away into 
Waldron's arms. 

During the.boom years it seemed as 
if all the easy money in the country, 
and there was a lot of it, hitched up 
its serial number, brushed off the 
Great Seal and headed for Miami. War 
profiteer cash, black market gold, 
gambler's winnings, every dime that 
wasn't made by the sweat of the brow 
found its way into that mad play- 
ground. 

The fact that the horse and dog 



tracks collected seventeen per cent of 
every dollar bet bothered no one. An 
indifferent cup of coffee that sold for 
twenty-five cents caused no complaint. 
And if hotel rooms barely large 
enough to scratch your back in rented 
for thirty bucks per diem, what of it? 

There was a shortage of almost 
every commodity except money. Un- 
der these circumstances the racket 
boys naturally thrived. A sucker can 
hold on to an easy bank roll just about 
as long as a ducks back can hold water. 

For the past five years every racket 
in the book and a score that weren't, 
flourished in the Southern resort. 
Mine was a racket involving hotels. I 
thought it was a brand new angle. 
But new or old, there was a lot of 
money in it. In less than five months I 
picked up more cash than I had ever 
made in all my life. 

I will not pretend that I was any 
naive virgin when Al Wallace put his 
proposition up to me. I was twenty- 
four years old. I had a pretty face. I 
was possessed of a figure which evoked 
more than its fair share of whistles. 
And I had been around a bit. I knew 
the score, all right. And now that the 
whole affair has blown up like Bikini 
Island I have no one to squawk at but 
myself. 

IT was in late November, just before 
the big winter season was scheduled 
to start. I was carhopping at the 
time. If that phrase baffles you East- 
erners, let me explain it means simply 
that I was a waitress who served 
parked automobiles instead of tables, 



and wore abbreviated slacks to stimu- 
late business instead of a prim apron. 

During the mid morning lull on a 
Monday, a car horn honked for my 
services. I assumed my most winning 
smile, as tips are the backbone of car- 
hopping, and walked out to a parked 
sedan. A smile which showed a lot 
of even white teeth flashed through the 
open window. 

"Hi, Jiinie. Give me a hamburger 
and a coke, will you?" 

"Hello, Al," I said. "How's things?" 

"Never better. There's so damned 
much money in the country that I'm 
even getting my share." 

He grinned again. As I went to fill 
his order I reflected that he certainly 
looked as if he were telling the truth. 
I'd known Al Wallace a long time. He 
spent his winters engaging in dog 
track touting. It wasn't a business 
where the suckers spend too much 
cash, and a dog track player is a small 
operator. I had known Al for several 
years and a hundred dollar bill to him 
was a lot of dough. 

Now, however, he had a brand new 
car. His suit was tailor made. And he 
wore an air of general prosperity I had 
never associated with him before. 

I took the coke and hamburger back 
to the car. He paid the check and 
handed me a half dollar tip. I looked 
at the coin with some incredulity. Al 
intercepted my gaze. 

"Buy some champagne, baby," he 
said. "There's plenty more where 
that came from." 

I thanked him and as I dropped the 
money in my pocket my expression, I 




NATURALLY 

Forrester was furious, be insisted the cops arrest Alice and he would press 

charges. Al made it clear that the hotel would not be a party to the arrest. 



I TURNED 

and found Dan beside me. He said, 

"That's Forrester's wallet in your band." 



dare say, was one of envy. I lifted my 
face again to find Al regarding me ap- 
praisingly. 

"Say." he said, "I could use you. 
You'd fit into this racket beautifully. 
How'd you like to make yourself a few 
grand?" 

"Well," I said brightly, "the business 
men are making it, the unions are 
making it, and even the congressmen 
aren't doing too badly according to the 
papers I read, why not little Junie? 




I WATCHED 

Wixen hand over the dough and Al promise to get rid of 

the detectives so he could enjoy his illicit vacation. 



I POINTED 

out Forrester to Alice and she took over from there 

The old lech was soon calling for drinks in his room 



What arc you doing. Al?" I inquired. 

"I'm in the hotel racket." 

That rather surprised me.' The hotel 
business is considered legitimate and 
Al Wallace was not. Al's keen black 
eyes caught mine and he read my 
thoughts accurately. 

."No." he said, "I haven't hit the saw- 
dust trail. I'm in the hotel racket and 
I mean racket. Come on in with me. 
I can use a pretty girl." 

I knew quite well what pretty girls 
are used for in resort hotels and I said 
so. I also added that I wasn't having 
any. 

"You got me wrong," said Al. "Our 
guests get taken and that's all. Pack 
your bags and come over tonight to 
the Crosston Hotel and I'll show you 
the ropes." 

I knew the Crosston Hotel. It was 
situated in a bad neighborhood. It was 
run down and had been a white ele- 
phant for the past ten years. 

I said. "How can you get people to 
stay in that dump when the town is 
lousy with first class hotels?" 

Al's grin grew broader. "We've got 
a gimmick worked out on that. too. 
I'll let you see it in action. We got 
half the hack drivers in town on our 
payroll. Look, I'll have one of our 
hackies call for you tonight at seven 
o'clock. You tell him that you want 
to go to the Regal." (This was the best 
hotel in town.) "Then watch him go to 
work on you to make you change your 
mind." 

I thought it over quickly. There 
certainly was no fortune in hopping 
cars. Moreover, a lot of customers ex- 
pected a flirtation along with their 
hamburger. Whatever Al's proposi- 
tion was, it would be a step up 

"Seven o'clock?" I said. 

"Seven it is," said Al. He stepped on 
the starter and backed out of the lot. 

THE taxi driver was a southern boy 
with an accent that sounded like 
Jeff Davis. He was a pillar of help- 
ful courtesy as he carried my suitcases 
down to the car. Following Al's in- 
structipns I told him I was moving to 
the Regal Hotel. 

As I said this an expression of anx- 
ious concern came over his face. He 
said, somewhat incredulously. "The 
Regal, madam? Not the Regal surely?" 



"What's the matter with the Regal?" 

The boy was a consummate actor. 
He shuffled embarrassedly and said. 
"Well, it's hard to tell a lady like you." 

I said. "You can tell me the worst. I 
understand all about that business 
which was started by the flowers and 
the bees." 

"Well." he said, "it's no place for a 
nice girl like you. There's a fast crowd 
hangs out there. And besides it's 
dirty." 

"You mean morally?" 

"And actually. It's full of roaches. 
The food's terrible. Last week three 
people came down with ptomaine 
poisoning. Naturally, they hushed it 
up. You don't want to go there. Now. 
I know a nice respectable place where 
you'll fit right in." 

I grinned at him. "It wouldn't by 
any chance be the Crosston Hotel, 
would it?" 

His face fell and he regarded me with 
suspicion. "Why how do you know? 
How — " 

"Okay, bud," I said getting into the 
cab. "Step on it. The Crosston." 

I later learned that this particular 
method of hijacking potential cus- 
tomers from one hotel to another was 
not original with Al. Half the so- 
called respectable hotels used exactly 
the same device during the winter 
season. 

It was worked most effectively on 
fares picked up at railroad or bus 
stations, fares who had never been in 
town before and didn't know one hotel 
from another. When they gave the 
driver the name of the hotel where 
they had reservations, he would go to 
work on them. 

Some of these hackies were not only 
superb actors but possessed amazing 
talents for sizing up the customers. 
An old lady would be told of the ram- 
pant immorality in the hotel where 
she was headed. Business men, ap- 
parently out for a good time, would be 
warned of the dull knitting circles 
which were prevalent. A harrowing 
tale of insanitary conditions would be 
tossed in for good measure. 

When the driver succeeded in divert- 
ing the fare from his original destina- 
tion to the hotel -for whom he was 
working, he would collect ten to 
twenty bucks from the cashier upon 



delivery. This was the regular rate. 

In 1944, the Miami Hotel Association 
endeavored tu stamp out this racket. 
Failing to crush it themselves they pre- 
vailed upon the City Council to pass 
an ordinance branding it as illegal. 
However, it was so difficult to prove 
to the satisfaction of a court exactly 
what had happened that to this day 
there is no record of a conviction of 
violation of this ordinance. 

During the next few days at the 
hotel I learned a great deal about Al's 
hotel racket. Anyone who has tried to 
obtain a hotel reservation during the 
past five or six years does not need to 
be told that the hotel business is boom- 
ing. 

Even the lowliest rooming houses 
are crowded. An investment in a 
lodging house will pay off a hundred 
per cent. The way Al worked it paid 
off closer to a thousand. And he was 
but one of the many racket boys who 
put their dough in run-down hotels. 

The idea v»as to acquire the property 
for as little cash as possible, assuming 
a high mortgage. The building was 
then furnished with whatever crummy 
broken down furniture could be pro- 
cured, and opened for business. 

Even on the more legitimate part of 
the business, the customer was robbed. 
First, he was charged an exhorbitant 
daily rate which included meals. Al 
sold accommodation on the American 
Plan only. The food was rueful, the 
worst that a little money could buy. 

After being stuck for the first few 
meals the customers would invariably 
eat elsewhere, nevertheless they were 
still paying for the uneaten food at the 
Crosston. 

Complaints were met with a laugh. 
Since the sucker had already sacrificed 
his previous reservations at another 
hotel, he was stuck. At the height of 
the season there wasn't a room to be 
had for love or money, though hotel 
clerks were offered ample amounts of 
each, every day. 

At the end of the season, usually at a 
time when the first substantial pay- 
ment on the mortgage was due. the 
racket boys simply skipped. They'd 
milked a dubious property dry and 
that was all they were interested in. 

But don't get the idea that the way 
Al robbed his (Continued on page 41 J 




AS Deputy Les Round heard what 
the familiar voice had to say over 
the phone, he bit down hard on 
his cigar and gripped the tele- 
phone receiver until his knuckles 
showed white. "Are you sure 
about this, Dorothy?" he queried 
tensely. "Are you certain Tommy isn't 
away on a trip or something?" 

"You've got to believe me, Les," the 
voice of Mrs. Dorothy Worm, wife of a 
prominent Taylor County, Iowa, farm- 
er, implored. "Never in our entire 
married life has Tommy gone away 
without telling me where he was go- 
ing and when he would return." 

A mental image of his friend, Tom- 
my Worm, flashed into Les Round's 
mind. His rich acres, well stocked 
and carefully tended, in the Conway 
community, and his attractive, well 
groomed wife were the envy of his 
less fortunate neighbors. 

The deputy and his wife had often 
been visitors in the well managed 
Worm home and had never noticed the 
least sign of discord. The couple's 
devotion to each other and to their 
son, Carroll, now serving in the 
armed forces, was well known by all. 
Tommy Worm had left his home at 
eight o'clock the night before and 
had not returned. He had not noti- 
fied his wife of his whereabouts. Small 
wonder, then, that she was frantic 
with worry. 



/ A 



4k 


^ 


/ *^r 




^^ 




• * il' = - i y 






"Tell you what, Dorothy," Round 
said presently, "As soon as the sheriff 
comes in, I'll bring him out to the 
farm." 

"Please do that." the woman an- 
swered. Then in a tearful tone, she 
added, "And hurry!" 

When Sheriff J. T. Caskey stepped 
into the office an hour later, Deputy 
Round told him about Mrs. Worm's 
call. 

"But the guy hasn't been gone 
twenty-four hours yet," Caskey ob- 
jected. "He'll probably show up be- 
fore the day's over with a hang-over 
or some tale about being stuck in the 
mud. There are a thousand reasons 
why a rich farmer like Worm might 
want to spend the night away from 
home." 

Round shook his head. There was 
a dark look on his face. "You don't 
know Tommy Worm. And you haven't 
seen his wife. No man in his right 
senses would step out on a woman 
like her, and Worm is as keen as they 
come." 

Caskey looked thoughtful. "You 
sound like you really believe that." 
he said. 

"I promised Dorothy we'd come out 
and talk with her," Round went on. 

The sheriff nodded. "And for good 
measure, let's get Jones to go with us. 
We may need a lawyer's help in get- 
ting to the bottom of this." 

Shadows were Jengthening that 
afternoon of November 5 when Sheriff 
Caskey, Deputy Round and County 
Attorney Ralph Jones stopped at the 
spacious farm several miles out of 
Bedford. Mrs. Worm, anxiety written 
all . over her comely features, met 
them at the door. 

"I'm glad you've come, Les," she 
greeted the deputy. "I'm worried sick." 

The deputy introduced the sheriff 
and the county attorney and the 
three men trailed the woman into a 
neatly furnished living room. When 
they were all comfortably seated, the 
sheriff shifted in his chair and faced 
Mrs. Worm. 

"Now," he began, "let's have the 
whole story. Les tells me your husband 
left home last night at eight o'clock. 
Do you know where he was going?'' 

Mrs. Worm twisted her handker- 
chief nervously. "What I'm going to 
tell sounds a little silly," she began. 
"Somebody knocked on the door 
around eight o'clock. Tommy went to 
see who it was. A moment later, he 






ACTING 

the part of the grief-stricken wife Mrs. 

Worm diverted suspicion from herself. 



COUP DE GRACE 

Killer used victim's rifle to finish the 

job after wounding him with a revolver. 



WHAT HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE OF HER HUSBAND'S DISAPPEARANCE WAS SHE 



KEEPING A DEEP DARK SECRET, UNTIL WORRY CAUSED HER TO AGE 



came back into the room and said he 
had to help pull somebody out of a 
mud-hole. He got his coat and things, 
went out back and threw a big log 
chain in the back of is truck and left." 

"And you don't know who came 
here, or who he was supposed to go 
help?" Caskey questioned. 

The woman shook her head. "He 
didn't take time to tell me anything. 
Tommy was like that, always anxious 
to help someone in trouble." 

"But didn't you hear the person 
at the door?" the sheriff persisted. 
"Couldn't you give me some idea as 
to what the voice sounded like?" 

Mrs. Worm was silent as she thought 
about these questions. She glanced 
around hesitantly, as if she were un- 
decided about something. The sheriff 
prompted her sharply. "Well?" 

The woman straightened up in her 
chair. "To tell you the truth, Sheriff, 
I got the idea that it was Aaron Ryan 
at the door." 

"Who is Aaron Ryan? A friend of 
your husband's?" 

"He's more of an acquaintance," 



the woman replied. "He lives near 
Bedford. Tommy has known him a 
long time." 

Sheriff Caskey filed Ryan's name 
away in his mind as he mulled over 
the facts. Presently, he asked, "How 
can you be so sure your husband took 
the log chain with him? Maybe he 
just told you this tale about pulling 
someone out of the mud to get away 
from the house." 

"I heard the log chain rattling in 
the back of the truck as he drove 
away," Mrs. Worm replied. "Besides, 
Tommy never lied to me in all the 
time we've been married." 

"You think," the sheriff interrupted 
her, "that someone invented this ex- 
cuse to call your husband away from 
the house." And when the woman 
nodded, he went on, "But why? Does 
he have any enemies? Does he carry 
much money on him? Or do you think 
it was someone who could have 
wanted to steal his truck?" 

As the woman listened to Caskey's 
questions, her face became a study in 
mingled emotions. It was obvious that 



DEPUTY 

Les Round, who received the "frantic" call from Mrs. Worm telling of her spouse's 

disappearance. His tireless efforts were of help in solving the baffling case. 




she was confused. Presently, she burst 
out, "I can't imagine what has hap- 
pened. Sheriff. I didn't think Tommy 
had any enemies, but after all, even a 
wjfe can't know for certain. He always 
had twenty or thirty dollars in his 
billfold. And about the truck, your 
guess is as good as mine. It's gone, 
>■ you know." 

Caskey nodded. The robbery theory 
wasn't far fetched. As for personal 
enemies, that would require a lot of 
digging, since Worm's wife could 
give him no leads in that direction. 

Attorney Jones spoke up. "If you'll 
give us the license number and de- 
scription of your husband's truck, we 
can put it on the police broadcast at 
once," he suggested. 

Mrs. Worm nodded and rose. "I'll 
have to get the details from his desk." 
She left the room, returned a mo- 
ment later and handed Jones a slip 
of paper. 

Caskey said, "Why not phone it in 
from here and save time?" 

Jones agreed and went to the tele- 
phone. The sheriff said to the woman, 
"Mind if we have a look around the 
place?" 

"Not at all," Mrs. Worm replied. 
"And I hope you find what's happened 
to Tommy." 

WHEN Jones had finished at the tele- 
phone, the three men went out- 
side and started looking around. 
It was dark now, and they were 
forced to use flashlgihts as they made 
their tour of the numerous out- 
buildings. 

They didn't find anything until they 
reached the largest hay barn. There, 
Deputy Round stumbled in the en- 
trance to the shed where Worm had 
kept his truck. He flashed his light 
on the object which entangled his 
feet. It was a huge log chain. It was 
dusty and bore no signs of having 
been used in the mud. 

Taking the chain with them, the 
men walked swiftly back to the house. 
"Is this the chain you told us about?" 
Caskey asked crisply. 

Mrs. Worm gazed at the length of 
linked steel as if fascinated. Presently, 
she nodded. "That's it — the only one 
Tommy owns." 

"But if he took it along last night, 
how did if get back here?" the sheriff 
demanded. 

There was a frightened look in 
Dorothy Worm's lovely eyes. "That 
must mean — oh, I don't know what 
it means!" 

"It means there's something very 
queer happening around here, Mrs. 
Worm," Caske.y said sternly. "Frank- 
ly, when we came out here tonight I 
thought we were making a big to-do 
over nothing. Now I am not so sure." 

"You think something terrible has 
happened to Tommy?" she asked in a 
small voice. 

Caskey deliberated over her ques- 
tion a moment. "Somebody went to 
great pains to bring that log chain 
back," he said presently. "And you 
can see for yourself that it hasn't any 
fresh mud on it. That means your hus- 
band didn't use it like he'd planned. 
And we've got to find out why." He 
paused a moment, then added, "Has 
anyone been here since your husband 
left?" 

Gene Downer came by this morn- 
ing to see Tommy," Mrs. Worm said. 
"But I'm sure he didn't bring the 
chain, back." 

"How can you be sure of that?" 
Caskey snapped. 



"He didn't go any further than the 
front yard," Mrs. Worm replied. 
"Surely I'd have seen him if he went 
sneaking back to the barn." 

"Maybe you would and maybe you 
wouldn't," Caskey said. "Did your 
husband and Downer ever have any 
arguments about anything?" 

The woman shook her head. "Tom- 
my didn't have any arguments with 
anyone," she said in a positive tone. 

The sheriff pigeon-holed Downer's 
name to be later checked, however. 

Before the three men left the Worm 
farm, they looked over the personal 
effects of the missing man carefully. 
But they found nothing out - of the 
ordinary. Worm's books were in order 
and he had not been involved in any 
legal actions of any kind. There were 
no letters which could be called 
threatening, no signs of enmity with 
anyone. 

Caskey, Round and Jones began a 
painstaking canvass of the homes near 
the Worm farm. Most of Worm's 
neighbors had already heard about 
his disappearance. They were deeply 
shocked. Men like Tommy Worm 
didn't just vanish in thin air, they 
insisted. 

The sheriff then started probing the 
domestic affairs of Tommy and' Doro- 
thy Worm. But this angle, too, ran 
into a dead end. The neighbors re- 
peated what Round had already 
stated — that the couple were very 
devoted to each other and never had 
any trouble. 

None of the neighbors had seen 
Tommy Worm the previous night. The 
last time any of them had talked to 
him was two days previously. 

"We'd better check with Aaron Ryan 
right now," Caskey said to the others- 
as the trio started back toward Bed- 
ford. 

Jones nodded. "But if it were Ryan 
who called Worm out last night do you 
think he'd be likely to admit it?" 

"If he had nothing to do with 
Worm's disappearance, he would," 
Caskey replied. "But we'll have to 
talk to him anyway. If he sounds like 
he's lying we can check on his where- 
abouts for the entire night." 

A half hour later, the three men 
were talking to the farmer. Puzzle- 
ment was written on his plain face. 
"But I swear to you men I wasn't 
even near Tommy Worm's house last 
night," he protested. 

Caskey decided to take a long shot 
in the dark. "What would you say if 
I told you your car was seen in that 
neighborhood yesterday?" 

Ryan looked startled, then soon re- 
gained his composure. "I drove past 
Worm's place, if that's what you 
mean," he replied. "But I didn't stop 
there. Besides it was early afternoon." 

"Mind if we look at your car?" the 
sheriff asked. 

The farmer shook his head and led 
the way to his garage. "There it is," 
he said, pointing to a 1934 Ford sedan. 
"Help yourself." 

The three men examined the ma- 
chine carefully. When Caskey flashed 
his light on the wheels and under- 
neath the car, he saw that both were 
heavily caked with mud. 

"How did you get out of the mud, 
if Tommy Worm didn't tow you?" he 
asked pointedly. 

"I didn't get stuck, if that's what 
you mean," Ryan replied, his anger 
rising. "You know as well as I do 
that it's rained Ground here recently. 
In fact, it rained last night. And the 
county has a number of roads that 




HOME 

of kilter, who posed as a friend of the missing man and was not suspected by 

the police until he became the constant companion of Mrs. Worm, victim's wife. 



still need improving a great deal." 

The sheriff then asked the man if 
he had any ideas about what had hap- 
pened to Tommy Worm. 

Ryan laughed derisively. "Maybe 
you'd better ask one of Dorothy's boy 
friends about that," he snapped. 

"Just what boy friends?" Caskey 
asked quickly. "Ever see her with 
men other than her husband? Got any 
proof that she ever stepped out on 
her husband?" 

Ryan was somewhat flustered by 
these questions. He started to hedge. 
"I didn't actually see anything," he 
finally admitted, then in a flurry of 
anger burst out, "But if she thinks she 
can accuse me of knowing where 
Tommy is, she's crazy!" 

Struggling to curb his irritation, 
Caskey explained exactly what Mrs. 
Worm had said about thinking she had 
heard Ryan's voice the night before. 
Then he started pinning the man down 
about his remark reflecting on Mrs. 
Worm. 

"That didn't just pop into your head 
on the spur of the moment," he went 
on. "And if you didn't see her out with 
other men, you must have heard 
something." 

The man hung his head. "You're 
right. I've heard plenty, but nothing 
you can put your finger on. You can 
see for yourself how attractive she is. 
Probably some of these hell cats 
around the country trumped up that 
story on her. Maybe that's where I 
heard the rumor." 

The sheriff persisted in questioning 
the man but he could get no further 
information out of him. Before he and 
his aides left, however, he said, "As 
a matter of routine, Ryan, you'd bet- 
ter tell us where you were yesterday 
from eight o'clock on." 

The farmer's belligerent expression 
vanished. "That's easy," he said. "I 
got in home about five o'clock and 
never got off the place after that. A 
couple of my neighbors came over 
around seven." 



Caskey questioned members of 
Ryan's family and the neighbors he 
mentioned. They supported the man's 
statement to the very letter. It be- 
came increasingly obvious that Ryan 
was not the man Mrs. Worm had 
heard talking to her husband. 

THE three men discussed' the mystery 
further as they left Ryan's home. 

"Maybe the stranger is Gene Down- 
er," Round suggested. He was the 
only guy who called at the Worm 
farm today, looks as if he'd be the 
only one who- had an opportunity of 
slipping that log chain into the barn." 

"We'll talk to Downer soon enough," 
Caskey replied. "But I'm more puz- 
zled about why the log chain was 
brought back than how it was done. 
It doesn't make sense." 

"Worm's disappearance doesn't 
make sense, either, but he's gone, 
and without a trace," Deputy Round 
reminded his superior. 

When the three men arrived at 
Downer's home they learned he had 
gone to Bedford for the evening. 
Caskey told the woman at the door 
to have him get in touch with the 
sheriff's office when he returned. The 
woman looked puzzled, but agreed. 

Caskey and his aides continued to 
check with Worm's relatives and 
friends until far in the night. But 
they learned absolutely nothing. Early 
next morning, two of his deputies 
walked excitedly into the sheriff's 
office. Their clothing and shoes were 
caked with dried mud. 

"What happened to you guys?" 
Caskey asked. "Get stuck in a mud 
hole??' 

"Not exactly," one of the men re- 
plied. "We just got through pulling 
Tommy Worm's truck out of a muddy 
field." 

Caskey straightened in his chair. 
"Let's have the details," he said 
tersely. 

"We spotted this truck just off the 
highway, (Continued on page 45) j3 




BLOODV TRDIl of the 

CHMESE BR 



itl 1 1 m 1 1 d : i d ; 



THE sound of a shot roared through 
the dimly-lighted corridors of the 
second floor of the Colorado Gen- 
eral Hospital. Inside the Chemis- 
try laboratory, where seventeen 
young Chinese Army Cadets had 
been listening quietly to their in- 
structor, there was sudden confusion. 
Wild screams of horror mixed with 
the pungent odor of gun smoke. 

One of the students, sitting in the 
front row in the classroom, slipped 
slowly to the floor, clutching at his 
chest. His Army shirt was already 
covered with blood. 

The others, cream of the young 
Chinese who had been sent to the 
United States for specialized training 
after VJ Day, ran helter skelter from 
every exit in the room. Glass beak- 
ers, bottles of acid and chairs were 
pushed in every direction. 

Suddenly, from the first floor, came 
the sound of more shots. More 
screams. . This time a woman's voice. 

Dr. John W. Berry hurried to the. 
second-story hallway switch, clicked, 
on the corridor lights. Lazy puffs of 
smoke hung drowzily in the air. The 
corridor was empty. Dr. Berry ran 
to the stairs leading to the first floor, 
barking orders to a startled interne 
who appeared out of a side door, to 
call the police. 

When Captain of Detectives James 
Childers and his men arrived at the 
hospital located on the eastern out- 
skirts of Denver, Colo. Dr. Berry met 
the officers at the front entrance. 

"As soon as I came downstairs," Dr. 
Berry said, "I saw a man run from the 
front door. I don't know if he is 
the killer or not, but he was getting 
away from here as fast as he could." 

"What did he look like?" Childers 
asked quickly. 

"Just saw his back." 

"All right. Tell me what you can 
remember." 

"He was tall — almost six feet, I'd 



By CLELL mORGMI 



WHAT SECRET MECHANISM IN THE 
ORIENTAL MIND CAUSED A NORMAL 
CHINESE STUDENT TO GO BERSERK 
AND COMMIT MURDERS FOR PRIDE 




INVESTIGATION 

Detective Captain Jamas Childers and Detective Art Roush question students to 

unearth clues that might show the motive for the shooting of the two cadets. 



25. 



say, but rather slender. He was wear- 
ing a dark suit and a felt hat of the 
same color, blue, I think." 

Childers turned to Detectives Doug- 
las Phillips and Arthur Roush. "Try 
to follow him," he ordered. 

The detectives left immediately. 

Childers asked the doctor, "How 
long ago did this happen?" 

"Not more than 15 minutes ago. I 
had an interne call you as quickly as 
I could." 

It was then 8:30 o'clock, Tuesday 
night, May 28, 1946. That meant the 
shooting had occurred about 8:15. 

"Let me have a look at the bodies," 
Childers requested. 

The doctor nodded. "Follow me." 

At the foot of the stairs leading to 
the second floor, a vivacious young 
woman dressed in a white uniform was 
kneeling beside the body of a young 
cadet lying sprawled out on the floor. 
His head rested in a pool of his own 
blood. He had been shot twice in the 
forehead and once in the chest. 

The young woman looked up when 
Childers and Dr. Berry approached. 
"He died instantly," she said. "I 
reached him just a moment after he 
was shot. It was pretty horrible." 

"Who are you?" Childers asked. 

"Dorothy Horan. I'm an X-Ray 
technician here. I was back in the 
lab working when I heard the shots. 
I ran out to see what was wrong." 

"And what did you see?" 

"I saw a man with a gun in his 
hand running out the front door. I 
ran back into the lab, and shut the 
door. I didn't know what was hap- 
pening." 

"Who was he?" 

"I don't know. He was shoi : ■■" - '^out 
5 feet 8 inches. He had a hat pulled 



low on his head. He was wearing a 
dark top coat and tan trousers. The 
back of the coat was pulled up. I 
couldn't tell much about what he 
looked like. There was so much con- 
fusion, people running everywhere. It 
was all so confusing." 

"But you're sure you saw a gun in 
the hand of the man with the top 
coat?" 

"Yes, I'm sure. That's what fright- 
ened me so." 

"Was the gun in his left hand or 
right hand? Be sure now. It might 
prove very important." 

Miss Horan closed her eyes, put her 
hand to her forehead. "It was his 
right hand," she said, without open- 
ing her eyes. "I'm sure it was." 

DR. bERRY took childer's arm. 
"Come on upstairs," he said. 
"There's another dead cadet in the 
Chemistry laboratory." 

Childers frowned. "Another one?" 

"That's right. He's also dead." 

"Both shot by the same person?" 
Childers asked. 

"I don't know. But he's the one 
who was shot first. He was sitting 
in the classroom at the time. He's 
Cadet Major Tien Yu-Chung, one of 
our best students." 

Childers nodded at the young man 
at the bottom of the stairs. "Who 
is he?" 

"Chou Ping- Yuan. He was also in 
the chemistry classroom at the time 
Tien was shot." 

"Then how did he get down here? 
He couldn't have run this far after 
he was shot twice in the forehead." 

"I don't know how he got here," the 
doctor said. "There was so much con- 
fusion after Tien was shot I don't 



WITNESS 

X-Ray Technician Dorothy Horan of the Colorado General Hospital views the body 

of Chou Ping Yuan. She saw killer running through corridor with smoking gun. 



know what happened. The students 
scattered everywhere after that first 
shot. Maybe Chou ran down here 
and someone, waiting for him, shot 
him." 

"Then maybe there were two kill- 
ers?" Childers asked. 
"Maybe." 

Before Childers went upstairs to 
have a look at the first victim of the 
mad hospital slayer, he walked to the 
pay telephone nearby, called head- 
quarters. He asked the radio dis- 
patcher to put out a pick-up order for 
a tall, thin man in a blue suit and a 
short man with a dark topcoat, tan 
trousers, and hat worn low on his 
head. 

Then Childers joined Dr. Berrv 
again. They started up the stairs. 
Childers asked the medico to tell him 
as nearly as he could just what had 
happened at the Colorado General 
Hospital that night. 

Dr. Berry said the class had been 
in progress for 15 minutes, when sud- 
denly everything was disrupted by a 
shot. There were three distinct shots 
the doctor thought. Cadet Major Tien 
fell to the floor. The students ran in 
every direction. After that, all was 
confusion. 

"Where did the three shots come 
from?" Childers asked. 

"From the hall doorway, I think. 
No one seemed to be sure. But the 
students I have talked with so far 
thought it was someone outside the 
door that leads to the west wing cor- 
ridor." 

"And you're sure that dead student 
at the foot of the stairs was in the 
classroom when Tien was shot?" 

"Positive. There is an exit at the 

back of the classroom. He must have 

run out that door and started down 

the stairs when someone shot him " 

Dr. Berry had recalled the remain- 



■M ■ ■ 



26. 




ing 12 students from the 14 who were 
in the classroom at the time of the 
shooting back to the chemistry lab 
so that Childers could question them 
if he desired. 

Childers had a look at the body in 
the classroom. He was a young man 
about 22. He had been shot once in 
the chest and once in the head. 

The Detective Captain frowned. 
This had at first looked to him like 
the work of someone who had gone 
mad and started shooting anyone who 
got in his way. But the more he 
thought about it and the more he 
learned about the double shooting, the 
more he was convinced that this had 
been a carefully-planned murder of 
Chou and Tien. Maybe there was one 
killer, maybe two. Childers wasn't 
sure about that yet. But he was con- 
vinced that Chow and Tien had been 
the intended victims and that there 
had been a definite motive involved. 

There could be only one possible 
motive — revenge or hatred. What he 
had to do was to locate the enemy or 
enemies of the two cadets, then lay 
the murders at their feet. 

From the back of the chair where 
cadet Major Tien had been sitting, 
Childers dug out a spent bullet which 
had passed through Tien's body. It 
was a .38 calibre slug. At least that 
was a starter. Childers would run 
down every .38 calibre gun in the 
state if necessary to get his hands on 
this double killer. 

Childers questioned the 12 cadets 
carefully. They were all so upset and 
excited by the scene of horror which 
they had just witnessed that none of 
them could give very cohereqt stories 
about what had happened. What they 
did have to say about the actual 
shooting Childers had already heard 
from the doctor. 

But the detective captain did learn 
a little more about the background of 
the two victims. 

Chou and Tien had arrived in the 
United States, along with a large 
group of picked young Chinese Army 
men, just two months before the 
double murder. The group were 
specializing in Armament training. At 
the present time they were stationed 
at Lowry Field, near Denver. But 
before coming to Denver they had 
been stationed at Montgomery, Ala- 
bama and at Midland, Texas. They 
had been at Lowry about a month. 
Their immediate commanding of- 
ficer was Lt. Ping Wu Ming. The of- 
ficer in charge of the entire Chinese 
detachment at Lowry Field was Major 
Fu Chang. 

Maybe, Childers thought, Major 
Chang or Lt. Ming could give him 
more information about the two vic- 
tims than the 12 chemistry cadets had. 
Or maybe some of the other Chinese 
students, not so upset as the chemistry 
cadets, could be of help. 

CHILDERS immediately telephoned 
Major Chang at Lowry, told him 
. what had happened. He asked 
Major Chang to get Lt. Ming, and any 
Chinese students who knew the two 
victims, together. He wanted to talk 
with them that night. Chang said he 
would do so at once. 

Then Childers called headquarters 
again, asked that more officers be sent 
to Lowry to assist him in the ques- 
tioning. 

Before Childers left the hospital, 
however, he went through each room, 
examining it carefully to make sure 
that the killer was not hiding some- 




REVENGE 

caused the death of Cadet Major Tien Yu Chung, He had reprimanded killer, son 

of a General, who vowed to erase the disgrace of an inferior embarrassing him. 



where in the building waiting until 
the excitement died down before he 
made his escape. 

But this investigation drew a blank 
and the detective had already started 
out the front door of the hospital, 
when he bumped into the two officers 
he had sent to follow the killer. 

Standing between the two officers 
was a tall, thin man dressed in a dark 
suit and hat. It was so black out- 
side, Childers could hardly see the 
man's face. He stepped back inside 
the hospital doorway, nodded for the 
officers to follow him. 

A moment later, he was looking at 
a kindly-faced man who appeared to 
be about 30 or 35 years old. Certainly 
the man didn't have the look of a 
killer. He nodded at Childers, then 
smiled. 

The detective explained they had 
bumped into the man on the corner of 
East 9th and Harrison Streets. 

"What's your name?" Childers asked. 

"Jack Dugan," the man replied. 

"You live here in Denver?" 

Childers glanced at his stern, quiet- 
faced detectives. He turned back to 
Dugan. "Were you here at the hos- 
pital this evening?" 

"Yes, sir. I was visiting a friend 
here. The visiting hours were about 



over, so I had started home. I was 
walking down the hallway when all 
of a sudden I heard some loud noises. 
Sounded to me like some gun shots. 
I waited a minute, wondering what to 
do. Then way down towards the 
middle of the hallway, I saw a man 
run across the hallway with a smoking 
gun in his hand. I thought he way- 
going out the front door so I took 
out after him." 

Childers' left eyebrow lifted slightly. 
"You ran after him, huh?" 

"That's right. I ran like the deuce, 
but I couldn't catch him. He was a 
fast boy." 

"Have any idea who he was?" 

"No, sir. I don't think I had ever 
seen him before." 

"Could you give me a description of 
him?" 

"Not a very good one. I didn't get 
much of a look at him. I never got 
very close to him." 

The description Dugan gave Childers 
of the man he was following tallied 
closely with that already given the 
officer by the attractive X-Ray tech- 
nician. 

Before this, Childers had thought 
maybe there were two killers, one 
on the first floor, and another on thp 
second. But (Continued on page 53) 



27 



mVSTERV 
of the 

nuoG 
nvmpH 



By HRL WHITE 



HER MATE WAS A BIT 
TOO OLD FOR HER SO 
SHE LOOKED AROUND 
FOR COMPANIONSHIP. 
HER INFIDELITY TO 
ONE BOYFRIEND PUT AN 
END TO HER PASTIME 



28 




A 

ft: 



AMOROUS VICTIM 

whose extra-marital romances were ended 

by a bullet from a thwarted sailor's gun. 



URDER VEHICLE 

to Tony Plungis, husband of the dead woman. She borrowed 
sy rides once too often as the bloodstained seat shows, 



RAW, frost-laden wind whined 

mournfully across the vast park- 
ing lot outsidii the Water bury. 
Connecticut, war plant as An- 
. thony C. Plungis, night shift ton! 
setter, left his work and wen! 
toward his parked sedan at the edge 
of the. lot. 

But the cold wind was no bleaker 
than the bitter chill which penetrated 
the heart of the middle-aged work- 
man as he started for his lonely home 
on that morning in early November 
Of 1944 

Tony Plungis knew that his young, 
fun-loving wife would not be home to 
welcome him with a warm breakfast 
when he arrived. He knew that their 
two children would be getting up thai 
morning in the home of stranger.--. 
Neighbors had taken them in when 
Tony's wife left him months before 
after many violent quarrels and mis- 
understandings. 

As Plungis approached his small 
sedan he noted that it had been moved 
from the place he'd left it the nigh: 
before, and immediate suspicion en- 
tered his mind. 

Had Stephanie taken the car again 
without his permission? 

More than once during recent weeks 
his attractive wife had come to the 
plant while he was at work and taken 
the car for joy-rides with other men. 
It was those joy-rides, in fact, that 
had led to their final split-up. 

The voluptuous, 24-year-old girl ol 
Lithuanian extraction he had married 
nine years before, when she was jus' 
past fifteen, had from the beginning 
been attracted to other men. 

Three years ago. shortly after the 
birth of their second child, she had 
openly demanded her freedom. Steph- 
anie was perfectly frank about it. 
She didn't object to continuing her 
marriage to the older Tony, but she 
insisted she be permitted to go out 
with younger men at the same time, 

■For a while Tony had put up with 
it, hoping that she would tire of the 
wild life she was leading, and return 
to her duties of wife and mother. Bu! 
things had not worked out that way. 
Instead, Stephanie had become ever 
more neglectful of her little family. 
And six months before, things had 
come to a head, when Tony threat- 
ened to divorce her. She took the 
children to the home of relatives to 
be cared for: and went to live with 
a woman friend in another part of the 
city. 

Since then Tony had seen his at- 
tractive wife often, but had not ben. 
able to persuade her to return to his 
little cottage at the edge of the city. 
The best he could get was assurance 
that the parties she went on with 
other men were innocent of any real 
wrong-doing. But she refused to conic 
back to him until he would agree to 
let her continue her friendship? 

Now, as the disconsolate husband 
approached his car. he realized that 
Stephanie must have been using the 
machine while he was at work. His 
suspicion was heightened when he 
saw a late edition of a Waterbury 
newspaper lying on the front seal. 
That paper hadn t been out when he'd 
parked the car there the evening be- 
fore. Tony also noted that the blanket 
he kept in the back of the car was 
missing. The keys, which he always 
left in the car, so that it could be 
moved in the event of an emergency, 
lay tossed carelessly on the seat undei 
the steering wheel. 

As he drove to his home he vowed 



29 



to call the house where his wife was 
staying, and have it out with her, 
about taking his car on her parties. 

A FEW minutes after seven o'clock 
on the morning of November 2nd 
the telephone rang in the home of 
Miss Anna de Bella, some two miles 
from the Plungis cottage. 

"I want to talk with Steffi!" The 
man's words came harsh and rapid 
and Miss de Bella realized that her 
friend must have been having another 
row with the husband from whom she 
was separated. Her own voice was 
sympathetic when she replied: 

"I'll have her call you back later, 
Tony." The girl hesitated to tell the 
irate husband that his wife hadn't 
been home all the night before. Things 
between them were bad enough as it 
was, she knew. 

"Listen, Anna, if she's asleep wake 
her up. I want to talk with her now. 
If she won't come to the phone I'll 
come over there and have it out with 
her." 

There was a long minute of silence, 
and then Tony Plungis heard her say: 
"But she's not here, Tony. She didn't 
come in last night and I thought she 



might have gone back to you. It's the 
first time she ever stayed out all night 
without letting me know." 

Tony's anger was gradually being 
replaced by a sensation of apprehen- 
sion. It was true enough that Steph- 
anie liked a good time, enjoyed stay- 
ing out late with the gay friends whose 
company she found so much more 
interesting than his. It was also true 
that she had borrowed his car before. 
But in the past she had always left 
a note inside, mentioning the fact. 

■*LUNGIS finished his breakfast and 
Kthought about retiring but he 
' knew sleep would not come until 
his mind was at rest. He went outside 
the cottage, determined to make a 
closer examination of the car. 

Picking up the newspaper he noted 
again that it was a late edition, which 
meant that it had been left there 
sometime between 7:30 o'clock the 
evening before and morning. He 
glanced at the fuel gauge and saw that 
the gas tank was less than a quarter 
full. When he parked the car Wednes- 
day evening it had registered three- 
quarters. That meant that the car had 
been driven more than fifty miles. 




f 



( 



L 



^&S0i*< 




As the man's eyes went from the 
dashboard to the front seat again he 
saw that beneath the spot where the 
paper had been thrown was a dark, 
congealing pool of sticky substance on 
the plaid-covered seat. Closer exami- 
nation brought to his nostrils a sick- 
ening, pungent odor. He recognized 
the smell of blood and his face went 
white as he recovered the newspaper, 
turned it over and saw the crimson 
stains where it had rested on the 
cushion. A moment later he was run- 
ning toward the home of his neighbor, 
Patrolman Francis Zukauskas, whose 
backyard adjoined his. The popular 
member of the Waterbury police force 
had been a friend of the Plungis 
family for years and the worried 
husband sought his advice before go- 
ing to the authorities with a formal 
request for action. 

Officer Zukauskas, although he'd 
been forced to remain away from his 
scheduled tour of duty the night be- 
fore because of illness, left his home 
immediately to examine the car after 
Plungis' story was told him by his 
wife. She had met their neighbor as 
he came running up to the house. 

One glance at the soiled front 
cushion and the policeman confirmed 
the other's suspicion that blood had 
been spilled there within recent hours. 
He knew considerable about their 
troubled marital relations; and on 
learning that Stephanie had failed to 
turn up after presumably taking the 
car the day before, he immediately 
suggested that a call be sent in to 
police headquarters. Zukauskas was 
serving only on a temporary appoint- 
ment and hesitated to assume the 
responsibility. 

While they waited the arrival of 
detectives. Officer Zukauskas tele- 
phoned Miss de Bella and learned 
that the missing woman had left there 
at about three o'clock the previous 
afternoon. 

"She told me she was going to see 
a man friend," related the girl. "But 
didn't mention any name. Could have 
been any one of a dozen men, she had 
a lot of friends and frequently went 
out with them in the afternoon." 

"Say when she'd return?'' ques- 
tioned the officer. 

"No, but we'd spoken about what 
we would have for dinner so I'm sure 
she planned to get back early. I had 
to step out for a while about six 
o'clock and when I returned she 
wasn't here. I thought she had prob- 
ably called while I was away and re- 
ceiving no answer went some place 
else for supper." 

When Zukauskas finished speaking 
he turned to find Detective Sergeant 
Joseph McCarthy and Detective 
George McElligott talking with 
Plungis. A moment later they were 
going carefully over the automobile. 
Scrapings were taken from the cush- 
ion and fingerprint men were called 
to examine the machine for any prints 



CHIEF INSPECTOR 

J. R. Bender whose conscientious detec- 
tive work aided in trapping the killer. 



POLICEMAN-KILLER 

who was placed in the unique position ot 

investigating a murder he committed. 

that former occupants may have left. 

Plungis said that the car had been 
washed the morning before and since 
that time no one, to his knowledge, 
had been near it except himself and 
Officer Zukauskas. 

Meantime Miss de Bella reported 
that she had found Mrs. Plungis' 
suede handbag where she had left it 
in her bedroom. It contained the miss- 
ing woman's engagement and wedding 
rings and close to fifty dollars in cash. 

"Steffi prob'ly carried only her 
change purse when she left the house," 
the woman reported. "She must cer- 
tainly have been planning to return. 
She told me Tony had given her some 
money to pay for the children's sup- 
port and she wanted to get the matter 
attended to last night." 

While examining the car the de- 
tectives found two tiny holes in the 
rear of the front cushion. It was their 
opinion that these had been made by 
bullets of a small calibre. The mate- 
rial was cut from around them and 
would be sent, along with the scrap- 
ings of blood, to the police chemical 
laboratory for analysis. 

DURING the next twenty-four hours 
a search was made for the missing 
woman in various places which she 
had been known to frequent, but no 
one could be found who had seen her 
since she left Miss de Bella's home. 
A description of the Plungis car was 
"broadcast and anyone having seen it 
the night before was asked to come 
forward. 

On Friday morning the laboratory 
report came in and showed that the 
stains on the seat cushion were human 
blood. These had been left from six 
to eight hours before their discovery. 
The material surrounding the holes 
bore traces of powder marks and 
it was the experts' testimony that they 
had been made with .32-calibre 
bullets. 

On the car itself were three dis- 
tinct sets of fingerprints. Those left 
by Plungis and the uniformed officer 
he'd asked to examine the car were 
quickly accounted for. The third set, 
of a much smaller hand, were quickly 
compared to a set of the missing 
woman's fingerprints on file with the 
Federal immigration authorities. Be- 
fore the day was over it was learned 
that the two groups matched. Mrs. 
Plungis had definitely been in the 
blood-soaked car on the night of her 
disappearance! 

Upon receipt of this information the 
police expressed their conviction that 
she had been murdered and her body 
done away with. They based this 
belief principally on the fact that 
more than a quart of blood had been 
spilled in the car, seeping down 
through the seat cushion. 

In the rear seat of the machine, 
stuffed down behind the cushion, a 
woman's small linen handkerchief was 
discovered. Both Plungis and Miss de 
Bella said that they had never seen 
the article in Stephanie Plungis' pos- 
session so the authorities concluded 
that another woman might have been 
in the machine at the time of the 
crime. 

Mrs. Plungis had been wearing only 
a light overcoat when she was last 
seen. Her overshoes were still at her 




iV 



1 




friend's house, therefore the police be- 
lieved she had planned to remain out 
for only a short time. 

Chief Inspector Joseph R. Bendles 
personally took charge of the investi- 
gation and following a conference 
with State's Attorney William F. Fitz- 
gerald instructed his men to prepare 
a complete list of every man known 
to have been seen in the woman's 
company within the past few months. 
He was convinced that the crime had 
been motivated by jealousy on the part 
of one of the many suitors. 

"The man we're looking for prob- 
ably lives right here in Waterbury," 
Bendler suggested after questioning 
Plungis at length. "In the first place 
the woman hasn't spent any time away 
from the city; and secondly, if some 
out-of-town person is responsible for 
her disappearance he'd hardly have 
brought the car back and parked it 
for her husband to find the next day." 

"But there was that missing gaso- 
line; someone drove the machine at 
least fifty miles on the night of her 
disappearance," countered Detective 
McElligott. 

"Well, if someone did kill her, and 
do away with the body, he'd certainly 
have taken it a distance from her home 
to dispose of it," replied Inspector 
Bendler. "In any event, once we 
round up every guy she's chased 
around with, *e should have little 



difficulty in checking their alibis for 
that night. And I'll want to know 
which one of them possessed a .32- 
calibre revolver. Which ones had 
automobiles of their own and which 
had to depend upon her for transpor- 
tation to and from their rendezvous?" 

The husband said that he had 
cleaned out his car at the time it was 
washed on the morning of November 
1st, and was thus sure that the hand- 
kerchief found in the back seat must 
have been left there after that time. 
Had this belonged to another woman, 
as now appeared to be likely, In- 
spector Bendler theorized that at least 
two persons had been with the missing 
Mrs. Plungis the night she disap- 
peared. He believed it improbable 
that she would have sat in the front 
seat alone, while a second person oc- 
cupied the back seat. 

Questioning Miss de Bella once 
more, he learned that Stephanie 
Plungis had virtually no other women 
friends. It was also extremely un- 
likely that she and her boy friend 
would have gone riding accompanied 
by some other couple, since she had 
been forced to keep her affairs with 
other men as secret as possible be- 
cause of her marital situation. 

Anna de Bella's whereabouts from 
Wednesday afternoon until Thursday 
morning was thoroughly checked and 
proved that (Continued on page 63) 




CUBAN BEAUTY. 

Gloria Valdez, wife of the wealthy avocado pear importer, witnessed her young 

husband's murder. He was shot in their home by one of two masked housebreakers, 



THERE was nothing on that warm 
tropical night in Tampa. Florida. 
to suggest murder. A yellow moon 
rode high in the starlit heavens, 
and a cooling breeze gently rustled 
the palms. Tampans were relaxed, 
gay, and pleasure-henl. 

Surely it was no forewarning of 
murder that kept Chief of Detectives 
W. D. Bush late at his desk at head- 
quarters on that night. For he was 
busy with purely routine paper work. 
And what of pretty, dark-eyed 
young Gloria Valdez as she alighted 
with her husband from their car in 
front of their comfortable home at 
2706 Elmore street? 

"Armando, I am very happy," she 
told her husband in soft Spanish as 
they walked towards the house. "We 
are back in America again. We have 
our little daughter. You are so hand- 
some, Armando, and so successful in 



business. Si, my loved. 1 am very 
happy " 

Armando felt a sense of pride as he- 
helped his wife and infant daughter 
up the front steps. And why not? AH 
that his wife said was true. Armando's 
heart, too, was young and gay. 

Valdez inserted his key in the lock, 
opened the door. His family entered 
the living room, snapping on the light. 
A slight frown of annoyance crossed 
Mrs. Valdez's pretty face. 

"The light is on in the kitchen." 
she remarked. "I must be getting 
careless; I don't remember leaving it 
on when we went to the movie.'" 

Her husband laughed good-natured- 
ly and went into a bedroom to change 
his clothes. Mrs. Valdez, with the 
baby in her arms, went into the 
kitchen. As she crossed the threshold, 
the young mother stopped in amaze- 
ment. The kitchen floor was littered 




■I 



WEALTHY 

Armando Valdez and child, unaware of 

the fate destiny had planned for him. 

with cigarette butts. Surely she had 
not left her kitchen in such an un- 
tidy condition. 

Suddenly, without warning, a man 
leaped from a corner of the room. He 
was dressed in dark clothes, a fell 
hat pulled low over his eyes, a hand- 
kerchief tied across the lower part of 
his face. A snub-nosed revolver was 
in his hand. 

Mrs. Valdez stared, recovered 
quickly from her shock. "What arc 
you doing here?" she demanded. 

Valdez. from the bedroom, called 
out, "Did you speak to me, darling?" 

"No, there's a — " 

A hand clapped roughly over her 
mouth, cutting off the young mother's 
.warning. Armando Valdez hurried 
into the kitchen. As he entered the 
room, another man, also in dark 
clothes and masked, leaped from be- 
hind the kitchen door. A pistol was 
jammed into Valdez's stomach. 

"Who are you?" Valdez demanded 
angrily. "What do you want?" 

"You know what wc want, Valdez." 
the gunman answered in low, guttural 
tones. 

With his free hand, the gunman be- 
gan searching Valdez's pockets. Val- 
dez made an attempt to grapple with 
the intruder. The gun barked twice 
at close range and Armando Valdez 
siumped to the floor. Standing astride 
the fallen man, the gunman deliber- 
ately fired three more shots into the 
writhing form of his victim. 

Mrs. Valdez screamed. Placing her 
baby on the floor, she dropped on her 
knees beside her husband. "Arman- 
do .. . Armando!" The two gunmen 
fled from the house. 

Five minutes later a squad car 
screeched to a stop out front. A group 
of officers hurried into the house led 
by husky, six-foot Chief of Detective? 
Bush. He was closely followed by 
Detectives Jose Vasquez and Joe 
Morris and Doctor Douglas Meighn. 




HATEFUL EYES 

of the killer caused Mrs. Valdez to be 

able to identify him many months later. 



Medical Examiner was not needed. 

The Medical Examiner needed only 
a glance to tell him that Armando 
Valdez was dead. He then turned his 
attention to quieting the young wife 
sufficiently to give a coherent account 
of what had happened. Chief Bush, 
meanwhile, conversed with J. W. Pos- 
ton, a neighbor, who was in the house. 

"I'm the one who phoned you," re- 
lated Poston. "I was in my bedroom 
next door when the Valdezes arrived 
home. I heard two shots, then three 
more a few seconds later. I heard 
Mrs. Valdez scream. Then I saw a man 
run out of the front door; another 
ran out of the back door and up the 
alley between my house and this one. 

"I ran over here to see what was 
wrong. Valdez was on the floor like 
you see him now. I tried to phone the 
police from here, but the phone was 
dead. So I ran back to my house, 
called you, and came back over here." 

"What about those two men? " 
pressed Bush. "Describe them as fully 
as you can." 

"They were gone before I got a 
good look at them," Poston frowned. 
"All I can say is that they were both 
medium sized and dressed in dark 
clothes with hats pulled low over 
their eyes. Both men had handker- 
chiefs, tied over the lower part of 
their faces." 

Bush strode to the front door and 
called the officers of a second squad 
car that had arrived. He ordered a 
swift canvass be made of the entire 
neighborhood, both in patrol cars and 
on foot, particularly in side streets 
and alleys. Returning to the kitchen, 
he asked Poston, 

"And you say the telephone here 
was dead?" 

"Yes," nodded the neighbor. "I had 
to return to my house to phone you." 

"That's right, Chief," called out 
Detective Vasquez from the living 
room. "The wires on the phone have 



WHAT SINISTER MOTIVE WAS BEHIND 
THE WANTON KILLING OF THE WELL- 
LIKED CUBAN IMPORTER OF AVOCADOS 

By BENNETT WRIGHT 




ESCAPE 

The masked gunmen fled down this alley after the murder, dropping Mrs. Valdez's 

jewelry as they ran. They hoped to confuse police in determining the motive. 



been cut. This thing was obviously 
planned out in advance." 

"I'll say it was," agreed Bush, look- 
ing down at the cigarette stubs on the 
kitchen floor. "Those two men waited 
here a long while to smoke this many 
cigarettes. Apparently they were hid- 
ing here in the kitchen waiting for 
Valdez to come home." 

"Here's where they got in, Chief," 
sang out Detective Morris, examining 
a kitchen window that opened onto 
the back porch. "They forced the 
screen out here and jimmied the lock." 

"Get a fingerprint man on that 
window sill right away," Bush re- 
plied grimly. "And have him see what 
he can do with these cigarette stubs." 

On the back porch were several 
overturned crates of avocado pears, 
a mellow tropical fruit with a large 
seed in the center, the fruit scattered 
about the porch and in one corner 



of the kitchen. Many of the pears had 
been sliced in half with a knife. 

"They were cool devils," remarked 
Vasquez, "to stand around eating avo- 
cados while waiting for Valdez to 
come home." 

Bush stooped down for a closer 
look at the fruit, "None of these pears 
were eaten," he answered, perplexed. 
"They were just sliced in half, then 
thrown aside." 

Vasquez shrugged. "Maybe they 
were too green to suit the tastes of 
the killers." 

Chief Bush let the puzzling factor 
of the avocados ride for the moment 
and went in to see how Mrs. Valdez 
was getting along. 

"You can talk to her for a few 
moments," Meighn told him. "But 
take it easy. She's had a tremendous 
shock." 

Of Cuban (Continued on .page 59) 



STRM1GE CLUE of the HUOCBDO PEAR 



32 



33 



WOMEN in the NEWS 



ONE WOMAN (1). disappeared without leaving a trace, another (2) 
captured an armed bandit, a third, the former wife of a popular 
screen and radio actor (3) was jailed when police quelled a riot, 
and a fourth (4) , herself a famous screen, stage and radio singer and 
comedienne, was the victim of burglars. 

Perpetrator of the vanishing act was attractive Frances H. Gleason. 
17-year-old Hyannis, Mass., high school senior, (1), who became the 
object of a nation-wide search when she disappeared from home. A tall 
blonde with green eyes, she was believed to have gone to New York 
or Hollywood in quest of a career as a model or an actress. 

The amateur policewoman was 18-year-old Wanda Zebrowsky (2), not 
only very nice to look at but who takes her physical education course at 
Michigan State University, where she is a freshman, quite seriously, 
as a masked bandit found out to his sorrow. 

Wanda and her family were awakened by bandits who had entered 
the Melody Inn, operated by her parents, through a window. Two of 
the trio fled, but Wanda managed to drop one of them, a husky 19-year- 
old, with a kick in the stomach, grab his double-barreled shot gun and 
cover him with it. Wanda and her mother trussed up the youth and 
turned him over to police when they arrived. Wanda wants to, be a 
physical training teacher, and it looks like she's well fitted for the job. 

The female Ray "Lost Weekend" Milland, Mrs. Virgie Peary (3) , former 
wife of Hollywood actor Harold Peary, better known as "The Great 
Gildersleeve," chats with Officer E. L. Burke at Lincoln Heights Jail in 
Los Angeles, Calif., after she was booked on suspicion of drunkenness. 
It all started when Mrs. Peary insisted on singing in Bud Abbott's Back 
Stage Supper Club, and a woman patron objected. Soon the whole 
night spot was in an uproar, and it took eight policemen to quell the 
riot. Mrs. Peary was but one of the four arrested. Two of the police- 
men's eyes were blackened in the free-for-all. 

Hollywood actress Betty Hutton and her husband, Ted Briskin (4) , 
re-enact the "cupboard was bare" line of the nursery rhyme, "Old 
Mother Hubbard," as they stand in front of empty shelves and examine 
one of the few antique items left behind by burglars. Dishes and 
figurines valued at $2000 were stolen from the couple's guest house. 
Two bathroom towels with Miss Hutton 's name inscribed on them were 
also stolen. 




34 




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35 





PATHOS 



^JliiSi 



PATHOS is nothing new to the human race. Emo- 
tional suffering is as old as man himself. But 
most people conceal their sentiments or attempt 
to disguise them. Only on rare occasions do people 
completely give way to their feelings. However, 
in a few places, such as the criminal courtroom, 
neart-rending and anguishing scenes are enacted fre- 
quently and uninhibitedly. 

Unable to control herself (1) was Eunice Irise 
Smith, 31. Santa Monica. Calif., beauty parlor operator 
who told a Los Angeles coroner's jury how her com- 
mon-law husband, Fred H. Gabbert. 42, shot and killed 
her secret admirer, Ralph G. Snyder, 31, to climax a 
mounting jealousy. She then completely collapsed and 
was led from the courtroom by Officer E. L. Hicks and 
Policewoman Florence A. Allen. 

"Don't worry, mother." pleaded (2) eighteen-year- 
old Lois Lawson of San Pedro, Calif., "everything will 
be all right." But the girl's words failed to stop the 
tears, for Mrs. Matilda Lawson had just heard Lois 
accused of automobile larceny, a charge which grew 
out of a joyride in a car said to have been stolen by 
the girl's boy friend. 

Also sobbing (3) was Wilnetta Wheeler (left) in the 
arms of Erma Ralphs at the inquest in Los Angeles into 
the slaying of two Inglewood, Calif., store officials by 
a former employee. Miss Wheeler crawled under a 
desk to escape the killer, who was later slain in a 
gun battle with the police. 

Mary Vedeneff (4) , sister of Alex Haproff , victim in 
the "invitation to death" slaying in Lynwood, Calif., 
weeps at the inquest in Los Angeles. Virginia Man- 
they at left, consoles her. Ernest Brougher admitted 
beating Haproft at his home after Haproff had been 
invited there to attend a party. The jury recommended 
that Mr. and Mrs. Bougher and Donald Lawhead, a 
friend of the Boughers, be held to answer for the mur- 
der of Alex Haproff, who died as a result of the 
beating. 



36 




CASE OF THE GUN- 
CRAZED WIFE KILLER 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 



end of the trail," Horton said. "The 
killer probably spotted the patrols on 
the highway and decided he had a 
better chance floating downstream in 
the current.' 1 

"He must have come ashore again. 
somewhere," Cibulla reasoned. "Let 
the dogs roam along the bank here 
for a while and then try the New 
Jersey side. He may have crossed 
over." 

After issuing these instructions, the 
lieutenant took the wet shoe and re- 
turned dejectedly to the radio car 
where he made his report to Captain 
Dunn. 

Dunn studied the shoe thoughtfully. 
"So far this is our only clue." he re- 
marked. "I'll send it down to the 
boys in the crime lab, and see if they 
can give us a line on the identity of 
the murderer." 

"One thing we can be sure of." 
Cibulla observed. "This punk is more 
than just a prowler. A chicken thief 
doesn't shoot cops to get away from 
a rap like that." 

Captain Dunn nodded in agree- 
ment. "And the fact that the towns- 
people don't know anything about 
him indicates he's not a local man. 
There's an alarm out on him to neigh- 
boring states, but the description is 
so meager, it may not help much." 
Dunn paused to light a cigaret, then 
said. "I'm going back and dig into 
the files, while you keep this end 
covered." 

Before leaving Brainards, Captain 
Dunn sent a trooper to the crime lab- 
oratory with the mud-covered shoe. 
Then, taking Detective Bodenstein 
with him, the captain returned to the 
Washington headquarters. There the 
two officers spent the next half hour 
leafing through the rogues gallery 
files. They selected the photographs 
of several criminals whose general 
descriptions resembled that of Ser- 
geant O'Donnell's killer. 

"Perry is in no condition to look 
these over," Dunn pointed out. "We'll 
have to check on them ourselves." 

The job of following up on the 
criminals was a tedious one but the 
officers went at it vigorously. They 
found that some of the felons were 
back in prison, while others had died 
or disappeared. 

By ten o'clock that same morning, 
all but one of the ex-convicts had 
been eliminated for one reason or 
another. 

Dunn and Bodenstein centered their 
attention on the last of their suspects. 

"Joe Mazzeo," the captain read from 
the criminal's record. "Two-time 
loser for armed robbery." 

"I know that trigger-happy punk." 
Detective Bodenstein said. "We sent 
him away for a stick-up job in Cam- 
den. I worked on the case myself. 
I remember he was a little too handy 
with a gun." 

"According to the information on 
him," Dunn revealed, "he has a girl 
friend named Libby Cole in Phillips- 
burg. That would be a likely place 
for him to hide out." 

'It adds up," Bodenstein remarked. 



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38 



"Mazzeo may have been on the lam 
from some stick-up when he ran into 
O'Donnell and Perry. After the 
shooting, he might have stolen a boat 
somewhere and made the trip down 
to Phillipsburg on the current." 

"And that's where we're going," 
Dunn snapped. "On the double!" 

MINUTES later, the two officers 
were speeding south along high- 
way 24. In Phillipsburg, Dunn and 
Bodenstein went directly to the apart- 
ment of Libby Cole. 

In answer to their knock, the door 
was opened a few inches and a faded 
blonde peered out. 

"You Libby Cole?" Bodenstein 
asked, flashing his badge. 

"Yeh," the blonde replied drily. "Is 
there a law against it?" 

"Skip the comedy," Dunn glowered. 
"Where's Mazzeo?" 

"He ain't here." The woman tried 
to close the door, but a large, square- 
toed shoe was thrust against the jamb. 

"We're not playing games, sister!" 
the captain rapped. "We're on a 
murder case. If you're harboring a 
criminal or withholding information, 
you'll be in line for a long stretch 
yourself." 

Reluctantly, the girl jerked open 
the door and motioned the officers 
into a small, untidy, one-room apart- 
ment. A quick search by Dunn and 
Bodenstein satisfied them that no one 
else was there. Not till then did 
Bodenstein remove his hand from his 
coat pocket. 

Suddenly, he bent over and picked 
something from the wastebasket at 
his feet. It was a bloodstained man's 
handkerchief, and in one corner it 
bore the single initial "M". 

"You'd better give us the straight 
story," Dunn told the woman. "Start 
from the beginning." 

The blonde dragged nervously on 
a cigaret. "Joe was here about seven 
o'clock this morning," she admitted. 
'His hand was cut and he looked like 
he'd been on a bender. He told me 
he'd had a fight in a barroom some- 
where. I bandaged his hand, and 
after a while he went out for a drink." 
The woman ground out her cigaret. 
"That's the last I saw of him," she 
concluded. 

Without delay, Dunn and Boden- 
stein left the woman and began a 
canvass of the local bars. 

At their fourth stop, a dingy, side- 
street tavern, the officers found their 
quarry hunched over the bar. 

"Don't make any funny moves. 
Mazzeo," Dunn counselled as he and 
Bodenstein flanked the thug. Before 
the ex-convict knew what was hap- 
pening, his wrists were handcuffed 
and he was being led out of the 
tavern. 

Back at headquarters, Mazzeo 
glared insolently at the officers. 
"What are you coppers after me for 
this time?" he snarled. 

"A little matter of murder." Dunn 
retorted. "A state policeman was 
killed and another wounded by a man 
who fits your description. Where did 
you spend last night?" 

'I was sleeping off a jag in a barn 
outside of New Village,',' the ex-con- 
vict answered. "But I didn't -kill 
anyone." 

Captain Dunn looked down at Maz- 
zeo's bandaged hand and said, "The 
guy we're looking for was wounded. 
It wouldn't be a .38 slug that ripped 
\ our hand, would it now?" 




Let your HEAD 
take you 

(The average A merican today has a choice 
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••noosing wisely the course to follow. Let's 
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John Jones — and listen to him . . .) 

"POMETIMM I feel sogood it almost scares me. 
^ "This house— I wouldn't swap a shingle 
off its roof for any other house on earth. This 
little valley, with the pond down in the hollow 
*t the back, is the soot [ like best in all the 
world. 

"And they're mine. I own 'em. Nobody can 
take 'em away from me. 

"I've got a little money coming in, regu- 
larly. Not much— but enough. And I tell you, 
when vou can go to hed every night with noth- 
ing on your mind except the fun you're going 
to have tomorrow — that's as near Heaven as 
man gets on this earth! 
"It wasn't always so. 

"Back in '46— that was right after the war 
and someTimes the going wasn't too easy— I 
needed cash. Taxes were tough, and then 
Ellen got sick. Like almost everybody else, 1 
was buying Bonds through the Payroll Plan— 
and I figured on cashing some of them in. But 
sick as she was, it was Ellen who talked me out 
of it. 

"'Don't do it, John!' she said. 'Please don't! 
For the first time in our lives, we're really sav- 
ing money. It's wonderful to know that every 
single payday we have more money put aside! 
John, if we can only keep up this saving, think 
what it can mean! Maybe someday you won't 
have to work. Maybe we can own a home. And 
oh, how good it would feel to know that we 
need never worry about money when we're old!' 
"Well, even after she got better, I stayed 
away from the weekly poker game — quit drop- 
ping a little cash at the hot spots now and then 
— gave up some of the things a man feels he 
has a right to. We didn't have as much fun for 
a while but we paid our taxes and the doctor 
and— we didn't touch the Bonds. 

"What's more, we kept right on putting our 
extra cash into V. S. Savings Bonds. And the 
pay-off is making the world a pretty swell 
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"I cut my hand in a barroom brawl 
yesterday afternoon," Mazzeo replied. 
"I got witnesses to prove it." 

Mazzeo supplied the name of the 
tavern in which the fight had taken 
place. Captain Dunn promptly tele- 
phoned the place and requested the 
bartender to come to headquarters. 

FIFTEEN minutes later, the barman 
arrived and unhesitatingly corrobo- 
rated the ex-convict's story. The 
witness further testified that on Sun- 
day Mazzeo had spent the entire af- 
ternoon and most of the evening in 
the tavern. B 

With Mazzeo's alibi established for 
the time of the shooting, Dunn had 
no choice but to release the man. 

After the thug and the bartender 
had departed, Bodenstein slumped 
into a chair. "That puts us out on a 
limb," he gloomed. "We don't even 
have a suspect now." 

"Better check the teletype alarms 
and the 'wanted' circulars that came 
in during the past couple of hours," 
Dunn ordered. "In the meantime, I'll 
see if they've found out anything 
about the shoe that was found near 
the river." 

While Bodenstein was leafing 
through the recent alarms. Captain 
Dunn put in a call to Chief Chemist 
John Duffy at the crime laboratory in 
West Trenton. 

"We checked with the manufac- 
turer," Duffy told the captain. "From 
the serial number in the shoe, we 
learned that it was part of a job lot 
><>ld in a Newark department store. 
In addition, we've analyzed acid stains 
;ind brass specks on the welt, and my 
conclusion is that your man is un- 
questionably a metal worker of some 
kind." 

Dunn thanked the chemist and hung 
up. The report hadn't told him much, 
but it confirmed his earlier suspicion 
that the killer was from out of town. 

Just then the door opened and Bod- 
enstein barged in, a triumphant look 
on his face and a yellow teletype sheet 
in his hand. 

"Wanted in connection with the 
murder of his wife," the detective 
read. "Ernest Rittenhouse, age 30, 
medium height, black hair, swarthy 
complexion. The description fits our 
man, and he certainly had a strong 
motive for avoiding arrest. His wife's 
body was found in their apartment on 
Liberty Street, Orange." 

Captain Dunn consulted a map on 
the office wall. Orange was fifty 
miles east of Brainards, and five 
miles from Newark where the shoe 
had been bought. The loose ends in 
the case were falling into a logical 
pattern. 

"It looks as though Rittenhouse is 
our killer, all right," Dunn agreed. 
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We'd better check with Cibulla before 
we go chasing anywhere else." 

BACK at the riverbank, the manhunt 
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might be a likely place for a hideout." 
A thorough search of the cement 
company's buildings proved fruitless, 
but the men pushed on. At the edge 
of a clearing, a half mile farther on, 
the policemen came upon a small, 
one-room shack such as is used by 
hunters during the duck season. The 
shack seemed, at first glance, to be 
deserted. But a closer inspection 
showed that a rear window had been 
forced open. 

Quickly and silently, half a dozer, 
officers surrounded the building. 
Trooper Donald Wentzel of the Penn- 
j sylvania force and Trooper Edward 
I Carroll rushed the door while Officer 
I Frank Vedo covered them with his 
j gun. 

Under the combined weight of the 
policemen, the latch gave way and 
the door swung open. 

In a far corner, cringing like a 

I trapped rat, the swarthy-faced killer 

crouched. Timidly, he walked out of 

the shack, his hands well above his 

head. One foot was shoeless and on 

I his right foot was the mate of the 

| shoe found at the river bank. He 

; readily admitted that he was Ernest 

i Rittenhouse, an .unemployed braser, 

. and that his home was in Orange, New 

| Jersey. 

On examination, the officers learned 

that Rittenhouse had caught two of 

Trooper Perry's bullets, one in the 

left leg and one in the left hip. The 

wounds, however, were, superficial 

I and had caused no great damage. 

1 After the killer was taken from the 

i shack, he was brought back to the 

Washington, New Jersey, station and 

lodged in a cell. 

Then, in the presence of witnesses 

! and a police stenographer, Ritten 

house admitted shooting Sergeant 

O'Donnell and Trooper Perry. When 

the officers had accosted him on the 

railroad bridge, the prisoner said, he 



thought they were after him for his 
wife's murder. 

Fearing capture, he had blasted his 
way to temporary freedom, the killer 
related, and at times his pursuers 
were so close that he could hear them 
crashing through the thicket, 

"I stayed in the water till long after 
dark," Rittenhouse told the officers. 
"Then I waded ashore and walked to 
the highway. When I saw all the 
police cars on the road, I figured I'd 
better get back to the river. I floated 
another mile or so downstream and 
came out again." 

He had tried to break into an old 
pump house before finding the shack 
in which he was captured. 

Sergeant O'Donnell's gun, which 
the killer had dropped in the river, 
was later retrieved with the aid of 
an electro-magnet. 

Following the capture of Ritten- 
house, New Jersey and Pennsvlvania 
authorities lost no time in settling the 
question of jurisdiction in the case. 
The wife-slaying charge against Rit- 
tenhouse was held in abeyance, giving 
full priority to the two indictments. 

In a packed courtroom, Warren 
County Prosecutor Saul Schechter 
presented the case against the mur- 
derer of Sergeant O'Donnell. Public 
sentiment was reflected in the fact 
that the jury deliberated less than 
two hours before returning a verdict 
of guilty. 

On September 19th, 1945, Judge 
Clark C. Bowers sentenced Ritten- 
house to eight years at hard labor on 
the assault charge and life imprison- 
ment for murder. 

The End 

The names, Libby Cole and Joe 
Mazzeo, as used in this story, are fic- 
titious in order to conceal the identity 
of persons innocently involved in m- 
vestigation of the case.— Editor. 



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1920 Suttnyside Ave., Dept. 3769 Chicago 40, III, 



KILLED EX-G. I. GROOM 




Las Vegas, Nev — Mrs. Bridget Waters, 26-year-old Irish war bride, shot 
and killed her estranged husband Frank Waters while holding her baby in 
her arms. She flew here from Britain to attempt to fight his divorce suit. 



I HELPED FLEECE THE SUCKERS 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 



customers was merely by giving them 
inferior accommodations for one hell 
of a big price. If that had been so I 
never would have fainted dead away 
in a courtroom some few months later. 
The other methods were strictly 
illegal in anyone's book. The enter- 
prise which netted the most cash was 
a devious form of downright black- 
mail. 

ON MY third day on the job I was 
introduced to this racket. I learned 
quickly the reason Al had offered 
me a job. He needed a confidential 
employee who wouldn't holler coppers 
when she saw what was going on. 
The fact that I knew several attrac- 
tive girls, an important item without 
which Al couldn't have worked one of 
his rackets, helped my getting the job. 

We would watch the check-ins care- 
* fully. Now, no matter what you may 
think it is not too difficult to tell a 
man and wife of long standing from 
a man and girl friend of recent date. 
Of course, sometimes we'd be wrong. 
But we had an out on that and no 
harm was done. 

To give you an idea, let us take the 
man and girl who registered as Mr. 
and Mrs. Jerry Wixen of New York 
City. He was well in his forties and 
she was all of twenty-three. She was 
good looking but flashy. His clothes 
were expensive but cut as conserva- 
tively as a senator from Ohio. 

At about ten o'clock at night, I 
plugged their room in on the switch- 
board. Al was standing behind to 
make sure everything went all right. 
The girl answered the phone. 

"Mr. Wixen, please," I said. "I have 



a long distance call from New York." 

Wixen got on the wire. I cleared my 
throat and went into my act. "Mr. 
Wixen? Will you hold on for a mo- 
ment. Your wife is on the wire from 
New York." 

Now, if Wixen had have howled, 
"You're crazy! My wife is standing 
right here." I would have simply 
apologized and pretended I'd given 
him a call meant for someone else. 

But when Wixen said as he did 
"Good God, how did she know I was 
here?" Or any equivalent, we'd get 
ready to give him the works. Of course, 
the call would never come through. I 
told Wixen that the circuit was 
broken somewhere and that the call 
would doubtless come through again. 

It never did but that didn't matter. 
All we wanted to do on the first step 
of the racket was to scare the sucker, 
to put him into a receptive frame of 
mind for what was coming a few days 
later. 

Forty-eight hours later Al asked 
Wixen to come to his private office. I 
sat at a desk there acting the role of 
confidential secretary in order to hear 
what went on. 

"Mr. Wixen," said Al, "we've had a 
couple of private detectives here late- 
ly. They wanted to take photographs 
of the hotel register." 

"Really?" said Wixen. "Why?" 

"I have learned," said Al gravely, 
"that they are employed by your 
wife. I assume they want a photostat 
of your handwriting on the register to 
prove you were here with another 
woman." 

At this point Mr. Wixen wore a 
most unhappy expression. 



SLAIN BY WAR BRIDE 




Frank Waters died instantly from a bullet fired by his Irish war bride 
following an argument that started when he called upon her to take their 
child for a walk. His wife was held by the local police for questioning. 




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•Moreover," said Al, "if the facts 
are correct this hotel can not counte- 
nance such goings on." 

By now Wixen was abject. "Have 
you let them take the pictures? Have ' 
you told them anything?" 

"Not yet." 

At this juncture, Wixen and all his 
counterparts usually made their prop- 
osition. In consideration of a fat fee, 
Al promised to get rid of the non- 
existent private detectives, to cover 
Mr. Wixen up to his wife and to per- 
mit him to enjoy his stolen holiday. 

Mr. Wixen and others paid in cash 
for these things. And, I may add, Mr 
Wixen paid gladly. And that is the 
hallmark of any racket. When the 
sucker is eager and willing to pay his 
money, when he entertains no desire 
whatever to squawk the boys who 
take him are happy, he's happy, and 
the coppers can sleep qaietly in their 
precinct houses. 

BY EARLY February the Crosston 
Hotel was running full blast. The 
rates which the guests paid alone 
would have filled the pockets of an 
average greedy guy. But Al was 
greedier than that. 

At night a dozen card tables were 
set up in the lobby and bridge and gin 
rummy took over. Here, Al worked 
on a concession basis. The card sharps 
paid him so much for the privilege of 
taking the suckers in Al's lobby. 

The guests never had a chance. The 
sharpers posed as vacationists and 
went to town with their marked decks 
and "readers." 

But the number one stunt which was 
worth all the other money making 



devices put together was the false ar- 
rest gag. It's only drawback was that 
it couldn't be pulled too often without 
arousing the suspicions of the authori- 
ties. 

The firs-t time I heard of it, Al said 
to me one night, "June, do you have 
a girl friend as good looking as your- 
self. I've got something where she 
can pick up a fast couple of G's." 

Two G's sounded good. I said, 
"What's the matter with me?" 

Al shook his head. "I want a girl 
to move in for a fast take, then get 
out. On this racket we need a dif- 
ferent girl each time. She can't hang 
around after we land the sucker. Now, 
do you know anyone?" 

Well, I knew a number of hot look- 
ing kids with few enough scruples to 
nil the bill. After a little thought I 
selected Doris. 

Doris was a tall slim blond with an 
imperious air which hid an avaricious 
heart. I dare say that there were cer- 
tain things which Doris would not do 
for' money. However, none of them 
come to my mind at this moment. 

She came into the hotel about eleven 
o'clock one night and I introduced her 
to Al. Al took her into his office to 
give her instructions. She emerged a 
half hour later, sidled over to me and 
said, "Who's George Rasen?" 

Rasen, who was at that moment sit- 
ting in the lobby, was a man over fifty 
who dressed like Leo Durocher. He 
had never admitted that he wasn't as 
young as he made out. He was a skirt 
chaser from way back and never took 
a vacation from that pastime. 

In addition to these qualifications, 
he was a most frugal character. De- 



BARES SOUL 




Chicago, III. — Mrs. Doris Murray sacrificed her reputation to save her hus- 
band's life. She told of her eight-hour tryst with Canadian Army Major 
John Fletcher, which ended in her husband killing his lite-long friend. 



spite the fact' that he was extremely 
wealthy, he never laid out a nickel for 
anything when he might obtain it for 
free. 

Al had picked a perfect specimen 
for his new angle. 

Al came out of his office as Doris 
was eyeing Rasen. "Okay," he said, 
"you know what you're to do?" 

Doris nodded. "I'm to pick him up, 
to go to his room with him and then 
snatch his wallet." 

"Right," said Al. "And be sure he 
sees you when you snatch it." 

That baffled me. I'd heard of dames 
pinching guys' wallets before. I'd even 
seen it done once or twice but I'd 
never heard of anyone deliberately 
making certain that she was seen do- 
ing it. I said as much. Doris and Al 
smiled at me. 

"Hang around," said Al. "I'll need 
you anyway. Get on the switch- 
board and wait." 

If Doris had been twenty years old- 
er and only ten percent as pretty she 
still would not have had any difficulty 
in picking up George Rasen. As it was 
she accomplished the task with neat- 
ness and dispatch in something well 
under par. 

A few minutes later Rasen sum- 
moned a bellboy, ordered cracked ice 
and soda up to the room and headed 
for the elevator with Doris on his arm 
and a self-satisfied smirk on his face. 
Al stood by the desk and kept an ex- 
pectant eye on the stairway. I as- 
sumed my position at the switchboard. 
Less than twenty minutes later it 
happened. I heard French heels click- 
ing down the stairway and the switch- 
board buzzed like a swarm of bees. I 
glanced at the board and saw Rasen's 
room was ringing. 

I plugged in and said, "Office. Good 
evening." 

It seemed that Rasen was in no 
mood for the amenities. "Damn it!" 
he yelled. "That dame's run off with 
my wallet. She went down the stairs. 
Grab her and call the cops. I'll be 
down in a minute." 

No sooner had he hung up than 
Doris appeared in the stair well. She 
winked at Al. She had a pigskin wal- 
let in her left hand. Al glanced over 
at me. "Did he tell you to call the 
cops?" 
I nodded. 

"Well, call 'em. Hurry." 
I stared at him aghast. "You mean 
you really want me to call the police. 
You really want them to arrest 
Doris?" 

It was Doris who answered aston- 
ishingly. "We sure do, kid. And get 
a move on." 

"Here," said Al. "Give me that 
wallet." 

Doris handed the wallet she had 
presumably stolen from George Rasen. 
In something of a fog, I plugged in 
and called the police station, request- 
ed that an officer be sent immediately 
to the Crosston Hotel. 

By this time Al had put the wallet 
in his own pocket. The elevator opened 
and Rasen walked into the lobby. His 
face was as red as the hibiscus which 
blossomed in the hotel garden. His tie 
was awry and his coat wrinkled. 

He glared like a headlight at Doris. 
"You little tramp," he roared. "You 
crook. Where's my wallet?" 

Doris gave him her best North-Sea- 

in-the-winter look. "I don't know 

what you're talking about," she said. 

Rasen cursed. He turned to Al. 

"Did you call the police?" 

"Yes," said Al. "And I hope you 
know what you're doing, Mr. Rasen. 



The hotel doesn't want to get involved 
in any trouble." 

At this moment a patrolman strode 
into the lobby. He eyed our little 
group and said, "What's the trouble?" 

"Arrest that girl," said Rasen. "She 
stole my wallet." 

"Wait a minute," said Al warily. "I 
want it understood that Mr. Rasen, 
not the hotel, is making this com- 
plaint." 

"You're damned right I am," he 
roared. "I'll go along with you and 
make the charge." 

Doris, Rasen and the copper went 
out of the lobby. Al came behind the 
desk and said, "Give me the pass key. 
Quick." 

I took it down from its hook and 
handed it to him. "What do you want 
that for?" 

"To put the sucker's wallet back on 
his bureau.'" 

"But why?" 

AL HAD no time to answer me. He 
went upstairs, replaced the wallet, 
then came down again. Only then 
did he explain. 

"Doris has Rasen cold on a suit for 
false arrest. It's so cold he doubtless 
will settle out of court. He says she 
stole his dough and has had her 
pinched. When the matron searches 
her, she'll find no wallet. Rasen will 
find it where Doris pinched it. It's 
absolutely cold. Any civil jury in the 
world would award Doris a fat sum." 

He was absolutely right. Doris was 
released that night. Rasen found his 
wallet and thought he had been seeing 
things. His lawyer assured him he 
could never successfully defend Doris' 
suit. He settled out of court for sev- 
enty-five hundred dollars. 

Of course, this was a delicate stunt 
to work and it couldn't be pulled too 
often. However, that is exactly what 
we did, pulled it just once too often. 

I procured three girls for Al to work 
this racket. The last time it fell down. 
The D. A.'s office had become sus- 
picious of two false arrest actions 
from the same hotel under exactly the 
same circumstances. 

At the time we fell flat on our faces 
I'd dug up a cute little brunette, 
named Alice. We had a perfect sucker 
as a guest, an old lecher whose name 
was Forrester. 

During the time we were setting up 
the play I was spending most of my 
spare time in the company of a tall, 
sunburned lad named Dan Balsan. He 
had told me he was a Chicago business 
man and we were mutually attracted 
to each other. 

The first part of the take went on 
schedule. Alice went up to Forrester's 
room, stole his wallet and came racing 
down the stairs. An instant later the 
expected phone call came from For- 
rester's room. He demanded I hold 
the girl and call the police. 

I did both these things. Alice gave 
the wallet to Al, and a little later the 
copper arrived and went off again 
with Alice and a fuming Forrester. 

Behind the desk, Al handed the 
wallet and the hotel passkey to me. 
"Go up," he said, "and put this leather 
back on Forrester's bureau." 

I took the wallet and went up to the 
room on the fourth floor. I was just 
about to put the key in the lock when 
I felt a hand on my arm. 

I turned my head to see Dan Bal- 
san. I smiled at him but he did not 
smile in return. 

He said, "What are you doing?" 
"Nothing. I'll be with you in a min- 
ute. I'll meet you in the lobby." 




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"You'll meet me in the Dade county 
jail," he said. "That's Forrester's wal- 
let you have there." 

I stared at him in surprise. "What 
do you know about it?" 

"More than you think." He held a 
glittering badge out in the palm of his 
hand. "I'm from the D. A.'s office. 
I've been looking into some of the 
things in this hotel. Maybe you'd like 
to tell me about them." 

I shook my head stubbornly. 

"All right," he said. "Forrester's 
wallet was stolen. You've got it. Any 
jury would send you up for that." 

I was panicky then. "But I didn't 
steal it." 

"I know you didn't. But you'll 
either come down to the D. A.'s office 
and tell us exactly what did happen ■ 
or go to jail for stealing, yourself." 

There wasn't much choice there. 
There was an empty sensation at the 
pit of my stomach. Dan took my arm 
and led me out a side entrance to the 
street. A few moments later I was 
talking to the D. A. And brother, I 
was talking fast. 

The natural upshot of that was that 
Al and I were indicted. I spent a mis- 



erable and remorseful six weeks in 
jail awaiting trial. Then at last it 
came. And right after it my sentence. 

I regained consciousness to find 
Waldon, my lawyer, holding a glass 
of water to my mouth. I gulped it 
and managed to sit up. I observed that 
the judge was regarding me with 
something akin to sympathy. 

"Counsellor," he said to Waldron, 
"if your client is ready I shall finish 
pronouncing sentence." 

"She is ready, your honor." 

"Very well — to a term of five years 
in the State Penitentiary at Raiford. 
However, in view of the fact that the 
jury has recommended mercy, be- 
cause of her aid to the District At- 
torney, I hereby suspend that sen- 
tence." 

Have you ever been snatched from 
the hangman's rope? Have you ever 
been dragged from the blackest pit of 
despair? That's how I felt then. 

I'm no dope. I've never been in jail. 
But I've been closer than I ever want 
to be again. Little Junie is back car- 
hopping again. I'll never make a 
million in it but I'll sleep nights in 
my bedroom instead of a cell. 



GRAVE GUARDS 




Chicago — Police armed with riot guns stand on guard against body 
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gunshot wounds but thorough medical autopsy revealed mercury in body. 



SECRET OF THE REAPPEARING LOG CHAIN 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 



about a mile from town," the deputy 
said. - "It looked odd, sitting out there 
in a sea of mud. When we checked 
license numbers, we found it was 
Worm's pickup." 

"Where is the truck now?" 
" "Outside. We were careful about 
driving it in, not ruining fingerprints 
and all that." 

Caskey called in Deputy Round and 
the two of them went outside and in- 
spected the muddy machine. He 
looked for a log chain in the short 
bed. There was none. There were 
no bloodstains nor other indications 
of a fight. 

Exasperated he turned to Deputy 
Round, "See that nobody touches this 
machine until we go over it more 
thoroughly." 

The deputy nodded and Caskey 
went back to his office and put in a 
call to the state identification bureau 
at Dcs Moines and asked that a fin- 
gerprint expert be sent over imme- 
diately. The bureau chief consented 
and in less than an hour, an expert 
was dusting all possible surfaces and 
looking for clear latents. He spent 
a couple of hours on the truck and 
when he finally packed up his kit, 
Caskey said, "Well?" 

"Several good impressions on the 
door, the steering wheel and the 
windshield," he said. "I don't know 
yet how they'll turn out. They might 
be of one man or a dozen. They prob- 
ably belong to the owner." 

"You mean if anyone else had any- 
thing to do with Tommy Worm's dis- 
appearance he or she would probably 
wear gloves?" Caskey questioned. 

"Exactly," the expert replied. "And 
what I found along with the finger- 
prints practically proves it." 

"What do you mean?" the sheriff 
asked tensely. 

"I found prints on all surfaces 
which could have been left there only 
by a piece of cloth or a pair of gloves," 
the man said. 

Promising to give an early report, 
the expert went back to Des Moines 
to photograph and classify the latents 
which he had lifted with cellophane 
tape from Worm's machine. 

Then Sheriff Caskey and Deputy 
Round went back to the vicinity 
where the deputies had found Worm's 
truck stuck in the mud. They can- 
vassed residents for several miles 
around in hopes of finding someone 
who had seen the truck being driven 
off the highway into the muddy field. 
They worked hard for several hours, 
but had no luck. No one had seen or 
heard anything. 

When Caskey got back to Bedford, 
Gene Downer was waiting for him 
in his office. "Heard you wanted to 
see me, Sheriff," he said. 

"That's right," Caskey replied. "I 
guess you've heard by now that Tom- 
my Worm is missing. His wife said 
you stopped by to see him yesterday?" 

"And that I did," Downer replied 
with a sharp tone. "He wasn't there, 
as you know. Any harm in my stop- 
ping?" 

"That remains to be seen," the sher- 
iff retorted. "You didn't happen to . 
return something you'd previously 
borrowed, did you?" 

Downer looked puzzled. "No. I 
wanted to see Tommy about some feed 



for my stock. Just what did you think 
I'd borrowed?" 

"A log chain, maybe?" Caskey said, 
and he watched Downer's reaction 
closely. 

The farmer shook his head. "I don't 
know anything about a log chain, 
Sheriff. But I'll be happy to do any- 
thing I can to help you find out what 
happened to Tommy Worm." 

"Then you don't have any ideas 
about his disappearance?" 

"Not a single one," Downer replied 
emphatically. "He was an honest. 
God-fearing, sober man who never 
looked at any women but his wife. 
There simply isn't any reason for him 
to disappear. Unless — " 

"Unless what?" 

"Unless he is a robbery victim." 

Caskey nodded. "We've thought of 
that too. And just as a matter of 
routine, I don't imagine you'd mind 
telling me just where you were on 
the night of November 4, from eight 
o'clock on?" 

"Not at all," Downer replied. And 
he proceeded to give Caskey a de- 
tailed account of his movements on 
the night in question. The sheriff 
assigned Les Round to check on it. 
The deputy soon returned with the 
report that Downer's statement had 
checked out okay. 

THE news had broken in both daily 
and weekly newspapers by this time 
and the entire county was buzzing 
with speculation over the mystery. 
Caskey instructed his men to be on 
the alert for chance remarks which 
might serve as a lead. And he and 
Jones and Round kept up their re- 
lentless questioning of everyone even 
remotely connected with the missing 
man. He put Worm's description out 
over the police teletype and asked 
Iowa State Police to broadcast the 
particulars at regular intervals. Also, 
he sent wires to Worm's out-of-town 
relatives and friends in hopes of ob- 
taining a clue to his whereabouts in 
that manner. 

Days passed, however, and not one 
of the many angles being worked 
bore fruit. Worm's disappearance had 
been thorough, indeed. 

As Caskey and Round talked over 
the work they had accomplished to 
date, the sheriff said, "If he's been 
kidnapped, his wife would have re- 
ceived ransom notes, by now." 

Round nodded. "What about the 
possibility of amnesia?" he suggested. 

"In that case, there's been plenty 
of time for us to find out about it," 
Caskey replied. "The way I see it, 
.there's only one answer to the ques- 
tion of what's happened, to Tommy 
Worm." 

"You mean — murder?" 

The sheriff nodded. "I'm convinced 
of it." 

"But there are no clues pointing to 
it, and not a shred of evidence," 
Round pointed out. 

"Worm's murderer was indeed 
clever," the sheriff said. "But he's 
bound to have made a mistake some- 
where. First, we'll start looking for 
a body or some circumstance which 
might tell us what was done with the 
body." 

Caskey planned his strategy with 
characteristic thoroughness. And dur- 



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ing the next few days, dozens of men 
in organized posses and hundreds of 
Bedford citizens acting on their own 
swarmed over every nook and corner 
of Taylor County. But when they got 
through and pooled their results, Cas- 
key discovered that the gigantic effort 
had not turned up one clue or lead. 

In desperation, the sheriff called the 
state police bureau in Des Moines. 
"I want one of your best men to work 
with me on the Worm case," he told 
the bureau chief. Early the next day, 
State Agent Gregson arrived in Bed- 
ford. After Caskey had brought him 
up to date on the facts, the two of 
them, accompanied by Les Round and 
Attorney Jones, drove back to *the 
Worm farm and questioned the dis- 
tracted Dorothy Worm. She, too, was 
now convinced that her husband was 
dead, but still she could offer no pos- 
sible suggestion as to a motive. 

This left the officers with only one 
possible theory. "Whoever called 
Tommy Worm out that night of No- 
vember 4 must have had robbery in 
mind," Caskey said. 

Gregson nodded. "He evidently 
thought Worm's billfold was as fat as 
his cattle." Then in a different tone, 
"If you don't mind, I'd like to ques- 
tion Worm's neighbors again. They've 
had a little time to meditate since you 
made your last rounds and they may 
recall something important." 

Caskey agreed at once. He and 
Gregson, Round and Jones began an- 
other canvass of the residents of Con- 



way community. Hours passed and 
results were disappointing. They still 
couldn't find anyone who had seen 
Tommy Worm any later than Novem- 
ber 3, a full twenty-four hours before 
his disappearance. 

Just when they were about to give 
up and drive back to town, they did 
learn one meager fact from a farmer 
who lived near the spot where the 
Worm pick-up truck had been found. 

"I didn't see Mr. Worm, but I did 
see his truck on the night of Novem- 
ber 4," the man stated. 

"Where was it? And what time did 
you see it?" Caskey asked eagerly. 

"It was on the road near the place 
where your men found it," the witness 
replied. "I not only saw the truck, 
but the coupe trailing close behind 
it." 

"Could the coupe have been hjtched 
to the truck with a log chain?" Greg- 
son broke in. 

The farmer shook his head. "The 
truck wasn't towing the coupe, if 
that's what you mean. Looked to me 
more like it was arranged for the 
coupe to follow it. When the truck 
slowed up, the coupe would slow up. 
You get what I mean. As to the time, 
it. was between nine and ten o'clock." 

"I don't suppose you recognized the 
persons in either machine?" the sher- 
iff asked. 

The man shook his head. "There 
was only the driver in each vehicle. 
It was too dark to see who they were. 
And I didn't particularly try. I rec- 



46 



COMPO-TEX, Bo* 786-HG. ST. LOUIS 1. MO. 



SELF-DESTRUCTION 




New York — Bruno Bunick, 27-year-old Ex-Navy man, choked his wife to 
death and later committed suicide in his jail cell. He celled the Police 
Dept. and said calmly: "I just strangled my wife. I guess you better 
come and get me." Mrs, Bunick, the victim, was an expectant mother. 



ognized the truck as belonging to Mr. 
Worm and took it for granted he was 
driving it." 

Did the coupe mean anything in 
the mystifying puzzle of Worm's dis- 
appearance? The investigators de- 
cided that it did and began probing 
around for other clues pointing to a 
coupe in connection with Worm's still 
unknown fate. In this manner, they 
learned something else of seeming 
significance from one of Worm's near- 
est neighbors. He stated that he had 
noticed a strange coupe parked in a 
lane near the Worm home on several 
occasions. 

"When is the first time you noticed 
this particular car?" Caskey asked. 

The man's answer jolted the in- 
vestigators. "Three years ago," he 
replied. 

"You're certain the coupe you saw 
on the several occasions is the same 
one?" Gregson put in. 

"Positive," the man said firmly. 
"Not only did it park in the same 
place, but it always had the same 
parties in it — a man and a woman." 

"Any particular time of day it 
parked there?" 

The man nodded. "Nearly always 
early in the evening. Usually left 
around nine or ten." 

"I don't suppose you recognized this 
man and woman in the coupe?" Cas- 
key questioned. 

The informant shook his head. 
"Never got that close. Figured it was 
none of my business what man and 



woman wanted to cuddle up in that 
lane. I've seen other cars parked 
there and I wouldn't have remem- 
bered that particular coupe if I hadn't 
seen it so many times." 

THE sheriff turned the man's state- 
ment over in his mind. It was ob- 
vious that the lane was being used 
as a rendezvous for lovers. And it 
was equally as clear that the parked 
coupe might have nothing to do with 
the coupe seen trailing Worm's pick- 
up on the night of his disappearance. 
But on the other hand, there might 
be a connection and the investigators 
could not afford to overlook the pos- 
sibility. 

At Caskey's request, the farmer 
guided the officers to the lane in ques- 
tion. They discovered it was on the 
Worm property. 

"I told Tommy about the cars being 
parked here at night," the farmer 
declared. "And more than once, I 
warned him he ought to investigate." 

"And how did Worm take your 
warnings?" Caskey asked. 

"He just laughed," the farmer re- 
plied. "Said he didn't see any par- 
ticular harm in letting boys and their 
girls do a little necking in his lane." 

Caskey and his aides looked the 
terrain over carefully in hopes of dis- 
covering a clue, but their hopes soon 
faded. They found a woman's hand- 
kerchief and a number of footprints 
and tire prints. These items had no 
meaning, however, except to corrob- 



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Los Angeles, Cal. — 76-year-old John Collette settled a two-year-old 
grudge against his neighbor, Antonio Rubino, with his shot gun. It started 
when Rubino allowed his rain water to drain off on Collette's property. 



orate the farmer's statement about 
what the lane had been used for. The 
official party went on to the Worm 
farm. Here they observed that the 
lane could only be partially seen from 
the farm, due to a screening hedge- 
row. 

But this didn't further the investi- 
gation any. Mrs. Worm personally 
posted a reward of two hundred dol- 
lars for information concerning the 
fate of her husband, but as days 
passed even the monetary reward 
failed to bring out any pertinent facts. 

Mrs. Worm became ill with anxiety 
and grief but continued to lend mate- 
rial aid to Caskey and the assisting 
officers. If the sheriff had any doubts 
as to the woman's loyalty to her miss- 
ing husband, her apparent grief and 
her ceaseless activity dispelled them. 

Although Aaron Ryan's alibi had 
cleared him completely, Caskey and 
Gregson questioned him again in 
hopes he knew something significant. 
But this angle, too, fizzled out as rap- 
idly as it was conceived. 

"However," said the sheriff as they 
rode away from the Ryan place for 
the last time, "I can't help but feel 
that Ryan could tell us something if 
he chose to do so." 

"But the point is, what could he tell 
us?" Gregson countered. 

"I don't know," the sheriff said. 
"Whatever rings that particular bell 
in my mind is so vague I can't put 
my finger on it." 

Gregson was thoughtful as he 
viewed the late autumn scenery. 
"Still think the log chain is connected 
with Worm's disappearance?" 

"What else can I think?" Caskey re- 
plied irritably. "It didn't get back to 
the farm by itself and Mrs. Worm is 
positive her husband had it in his 



truck when he left that night." 

Caskey felt certain that if he could 
discover how the log chain got back 
to the Worm farm he would solve an 
important part of the mystery. The 
reason for the log chain's return, 
however, escaped the sheriff com- 
pletely. Even had Worm been mur- 
dered by the man pretending to be 
stuck in the mud, what could the 
murderer hope to gain by bringing 
the chain back to the farm? 

During the next few weeks, Caskey 
and his aides dug deep into Tommy, 
Worm's background. But they learned 
little more than they had previously 
discovered. Worm's success on his 
rich farm was the talk of the coun- 
tryside and his happy marriage was 
discussed with equal enthusiasm. Ac- 
cording to the couple's friends and 
neighbors, there had been no clouds 
of any kind on the Worm horizon. 

FOR lack of a better procedure, Cas- 
key started checking the regular 
visitors to the Worm farm. He soon 
discovered that while Tommy and 
Dorothy Worm were well known in 
Taylor County and apparently popu- 
lar, their regular visitors were few 
indeed. Their most frequent company 
were John Anderson and Henry 
Schmitt. Anderson was a farm hand 
who worked near the Worm place, 
was about thirty and a handsome per- 
son, while Schmitt was a farmer in 
his middle fifties who lived in the 
Lenox community. 

The sheriff and Gregson visited 
Anderson first. He readily admitted 
going to the Worm farm frequently. 
"Tommy always insisted on my com- 
ing," he related, "and besides Tom- 
my's being such a good guy, Dorothy's 
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take advantage of their hospitality?" 

"No reason at all," Caskey replied. 
"Except that it's odd that you are one 
of their few visitors." 

"And do you know why they didn't 
have much company?" Anderson re- 
turned. "It was because they weren't 
home long enough. Tommy and Dor- 
othy were great gadabouts them- 
selves." 

Caskey's eyes narrowed as he 
studied Anderson's handsome face. 
"And do you still go over there since 
Tommy's disappeared?" he asked 
carefully. 

Anderson shook his head. "Dor- 
thy were great gadabouts them- 
said. "I asked her if I could be of 
any help and guess what she said?" 

"What did she say?" Caskey asked 
curiously. 

"She told me," Anderson replied, 
flushing, "that I could best help her 
by staying away. She intimated that 
with Tommy gone there might be 
some talk if she received male vis- 
itors. Naturally, I didn't go back 
after that." 

The sheriff was silent as he thought 
that over, then he asked, "I don't sup- 
pose you ever saw anything suspi- 
cious, something that might now be 
connected with what happened to 
Worm?" 

Anderson shook his head. "I never 
did see anything out of the way over 
there," he answered. 

"Just for the record," said Caskey, 
"what were you doing on the night 
Tommy Worm disappeared?" 

The farm hand's brow wrinkled in 
deep thought. ' "I remember now," he 
said presently, "I left the place where 
I work about 7:30. It must have been 
midnight when I got back." 

"And just where were you :hen?" 



"Alone part of the time, with 
friends the other part," came the 
quick answer. 

Anderson obligingly gave Caskey a 
list of names to check. And he 
started with the man's employer. 

The farmer quickly supported his 
hand's statement as to the time he had 
left home and returned. 

"Any particular reason for you to 
remember so clearly what happened 
that far back?" Caskey questioned. 

"Yes, there is," the man replied. 
"John left in such a hurry that night 
he forgot to lock up the chickens. 
That meant I had to do it. And I had 
just gotten through about eight o'clock 
when I heard those two shots." 

Instantly, Caskey pounced on the 
man's statement. "You mean gun 
shots?" he inquired. "Could you tell 
the direction they were coming 
from?" 

The man hesitated. Finally, he 
spoke. "Maybe I'm imagining things 
on account of Tommy's being missing. 
But as I remember it. they came from 
the direction of Tommy's farm. I 
didn't think anything of it at the 
time." 

Had the mysterious caller shot 
Tommy Worm after he had gotten 
him out of the house? Caskey said 
to the farmer, "Did John Ander- 
son have time to get as far as the 
Worm farm when you heard those 
shots?" 

The man deliberated a second. 
"Yes. But you don't think John had 
anything to do with whatever hap- 
pened to Tommy!" 

"There seems to have been oppor- 
tunity," the sheriff said dryly. "And 
I can easily imagine a likely motive. 
Dorothy Worm, although older than 
your farm hand, is very attractive, 



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"John's not of that stripe." the 
farmer replied quickly. "He's a good 
friend of Tommy's, but thafs all." 

Under subsequent questioning the 
farmer continued to cling to his belief 
in Anderson's complete innocence of 
any connection in the Worm case. 
Caskey changed the line of his ques- 
tioning and asked the man if he had 
seen the mysterious coupe reported by 
another farmer. But Anderson's em- 
ployer denied ever seeing such a 
vehicle. 

"I've seen a coupe around the Worm 
farm," he amended hastily. "But not 
a strange one. Futhermore, this coupe 
always drove up to Worm's own front 
door." 

"And who owns this particular 
coupe?" the sheriff asked quietly. 

"Henry Schmitt, a good friend of 
Tommy's," the farmer replied. "And 
a good friend of all of us around here. 
He buys and sells horses and he's 
turned a good deal for most of the 
folks living in this community. A 
right friendly and honest man is 
Henry Schmitt." 

When it became certain that Ander- 
son's employer could add nothing 
more, Caskey and his aides left. Round 
and Jones were assigned to check the 
rest of Anderson's alibi, while Caskey 
asked the still grieving woman 
whether or not she or her husband 
had fired any shots on the night of 
Worm's disappearance. 

"Thought maybe you might have 
killed a marauding cat, or something 
like that," Caskey ventured. 

The woman looked thoughtful a 
moment, then shook her head. "There 
wasn't any shooting that night, 
Sheriff," she replied. 

"Tommy did shoot off his gun a 
couple of times before that, along in 
September, but not since." 

"But maybe you heard some shots 
fired after your husband left," Caskey 
persisted. 

The woman shook her head. "I 
didn't hear anything that even 
sounded like shots that night," she 
declared. "But I can show you where 
the bullets hit the time Tommy fired 
his gun." 

Mrs. Worm took the two men to the 
front porch and pointed to a spot on 
the wall. "Tommy fired two shots, 
Sheriff, and there they are." She went 
on to relate that her husband had been 
attempting to kill a bat he found cling- 
ing there. But the bat had gotten 
away. 

"What about the gun? May we see 
it?" Caskey asked. 

The woman nodded and fetched a .22 
caliber rifle to the porch. During this 
time Gregson had dug two small 
leaden pellets out of the wall. He 
knew, from vast experience, that these 
slugs had been fired from a .22 caliber 
rifle. 

Caskey and Gregson examined 
Worm's rifle carefully. The weapon 
was well cleaned and oiled and if it 
had been fired on the night of Novem- 
ber 4, there was no trace of it now. 
The sheriff thought of the coupe in the 
lane. He asked her if she had ever 
seen it. 

Mrs. Worm nodded her head. "I 
tried to get Tommy to do something 
about it, but he wouldn't. Said he 
didn't see any harm in people parking 
there." 

"What about you?" asked the sheriff. 
"Why didn't you go out and chase 
that coupe away?" 

'T never got close enough," Mrs. 
Worm reported. "The cars always left 
before I got there. I finally gave it up. 



It was like Tommy said. There didn't 
seem to be any harm in letting folks 
park there." 

"Maybe both of you were right — at 
one time," Caskey said. "But I've a 
hunch that parked coupe has some- 
thing to do with what's happened to 
your husband. And I think you'll live 
to regret the day you didn't prohibit 
its parking in your lane." 

Mrs. Worm's face was shadowed 
with grief and worry. Her beauty, 
the sheriff noted, was rapidly vanish- 
ing before the onslaught of her 
anxiety. She was fast becoming hag- 
gard and was now looking very much 
her age. 

THE sheriff and Gregson drove back 
to town. There, Deputy Round told 
them that John Anderson's alibi had 
checked out closely. He had arrived 
in Bedford within a few minutes of 
leaving his employer's farm and would 
have had little time to have stopped 
enroute to dp any shooting or to have 
called Tommy Worm out on a fake 
accident plea. 

With Anderson completely exon- 
erated, Caskey and Gregson went to 
see Henry Schmitt at his home near 
Lenox. They found the huge, deep 
chested horse trader living on an 
estate as prosperous as the Worm 
farm. Like Worm, Schmitt was a well 
respected member of his community. 
He served on the school board and 
was a leader in all civic enterprises. 
He was the father of a large family 
and a devoted husband to his wife. 
He readily answered the sheriff's and 
Gregson's questions about Tommy 
Worm. His picture of the missing 
man and his family was the same as 
they had received all the way down 
the line. 

"When did you last see Worm?" 
Caskey asked the horse trader. 

Schmitt was thoughtful. After a 
moment, he answered, "I saw him on 
November 4. I think that was the day 
he left home and never returned. 
isn't it? I stopped at Tommy's place 
about five o'clock. He was okay, then, 
and I didn't notice anything sus- 
picious." 

"And what time did you get home?" 
the sheriff inquired. 

"About six," Schmitt replied. "But 
if it's an alibi you're wanting, I can 
tell you I went to a school board meet- 
ing at eight o'clock. I got home a 
little before midnight." 

Caskey nodded. "We're checking all 
of Worm's friends. Matter of routine, 
you know." 

A later quick check of Schmitt's 
statement proved he was speaking the 
truth. And here, from all outer ap- 
pearances, the investigation seemed to 
bog down. But the sheriff and his 
deputy, Les Round, hadn't ceased 
plugging away on the case at all. They 
merely started to work under cover 
in hopes of lulling the guilty party's 
suspicions sufficiently for him or for 
them, in case more than one person 
was involved, to make a slip which 
would trap them. 

Caskey and Round frequently dis- 
cussed the mysterious case. And one 
day Round said, "Dorothy Worm's cer- 
tainly slipping since Tommy disap- 
peared. She looks ten years older." 

"I've noticed that," Caskey re- 
marked. "And I'm wondering if that 
is due to grief and worry, or to some- 
thing else." 

"What else?" Round countered. 

"That infernal log chain, for one 
thing," Caskey said. "How could any- 
one return that without her know!- 



edge? And another thing, those shots 
Anderson's employer heard. He's too 
experienced a man with guns not to 
know the difference between gunshots 
and back-firing. And then there's 
Mrs. Worm's statement that she heard 
no shots at all that night. Somebody's 
lying — either her or the farmer." 

"But how are you going to figure 
out which one?" Round asked. 

"I don't know yet," Caskey replied. 
"And then there's the stuff about that 
coupe. Seems strange to me that 
Dorothy Worm couldn't slip up on 
those couples parked in their lane be- 
fore they had time to get away." 

"You mean you think Dorothy 
Worm is lying about that and that 
she might have been meeting some- 
one in the lane?" Round asked. 

"It's worth checking,, isn't it?" 
Caskey said shortly. "I'm only guess- 
ing, but shots in the dark are all we've 
got in this case. The coupe angle 
bothers me too. I don't know how 
everything connects up but we can try 
and fit it together." 

"Henry Schmitt's the only person 
we've talked to who owns a coupe," 
Round said. "But he admits going to 
the Worm place and everyone says he 
was Tommy's friend." 

"I'm more worried about Dorothy 
Worm losing her good looks than I 
am about Henry Schmitt's owning a 
coupe," Caskey replied. "But I want 
to keep and eye on both of them, 
especially Mrs. Worm." 

Several months later, Deputy Round 
came into Caskey's office with some- 
thing like satisfaction written across 
his face. "Well, you can quit worry- 
ing about Dorothy Worm," he an- 
nounced. 

"You mean you've found Tommy?" 
Caskey asked, incredulous. 

"Nothing like that. I mean 
Dorothy's being well taken care of. 
Somebody's looking after her, but 
good." 

"And who is the fairy godmother?" 

"God father," Round corrected him. 
"And it's our old friend, Henry 
Schmitt. His coupe has been seen 
parked at the Worm home, as usual, 
even though Tommy is gone. That is, 
when Dorothy is at home. She seems 
to be away a lot — off on long trips." 

"Alone on long trips?" Caskey asked. 

"Nobody knows. Maybe Schmitt is 
squiring her around parts unknown." 

Caskey felt jolted. Henry Schmitt 
was a substantial citizen. Had he 
taken advantage of Worm's absence to 
make love to the attractive Mrs. 
Worm? 

"You'd better make certain about 
this before you go any further," he 
warned the deputy. "We don't want 
Schmitt suing us for defamation of 
character." 

The deputy agreed. "I'll look into 
the matter a little deeper," he said. 
Accordingly, Round probed the angle 
further and learned it was common 
knowledge that Mrs. Worm and 
Schmitt were very friendly and had 
been seen together frequently. But all 
this was since Worm's disappearance. 
Both Round and Caskey felt that 
there was nothing in this to connect 
the man with Worm's disappearance. 
Schmitt's wife would be the only one 
who could rightfully raise a stir about 
their being together. 

But Round kept digging, not only on 
this angle, but on several others, all 
revolving around the attractive Mrs. 
Worm. If Schmitt had been attracted 
to her, it was reasonable to suppose 
that other men had been also. But as 
the sheriff and his deputy probed 



around, they learned a curious thing. 
Since her husband's mysterious dis- 
appearance Mrs. Worm had shunned 
all men except the elderly Henry 
Schmitt! They not only had John 
Anderson's word for this, but the word 
of several others as well. 

"Keep a night and day watch on 
Dorothy Worm's movements," Caskey 
ordered his deputy. "If she knows 
anything she hasn't told us, she'll 
make a slip sooner or later." 

Caskey's prophecy was soon to come 
true. For Deputy Round turned up 
the information that Mrs. Worm had 
been seen with Henry Schmitt on sev- 
eral occasions prior to her husband's 
vanishing act. He learned also that 
Mrs. Worm had not only approached 
a parked car in the lane, even as she 
had stated, but had gotten into the 
car, a black coupe. She had repeated 
this performance on numerous oc- 
casions, Round's informant declared. 

Was Henry Schmitt the man she 
had been meeting in the lovers' lane? 
Caskey and Round both felt that he 
was. And they were now convinced 
that it was Schmitt's coupe which had 
been trailing Worm's pick-up truck 
on the night of November 4, 1943. 



CASKEY quickly called Agent Greg- 
son back to Bedford and brought 
him up to date on the facts. Greg- 
son agreed with Caskey and Round 
that Schmitt should be investigated 
most thoroughly and watched both 
day and night. As the three men dis- 
cussed the bizarre case. Round said, 
"And it would seem to me that with 
all the attention Dorothy is getting 
from Schmitt, she ought to be regain- 
ing her beauty. Instead, she looks 
worse all the time." 

Gregson and Caskey both agreed 
that this looked strange and won- 
dered. Was it her conscience that was 
putting wrinkles in her pretty face, 
or was some person keeping her in 
anxiety and suspense, possibly with 
threats? 

The three men kept a double check 
on Henry Schmitt. They received still 
further corroboration of Dorothy 
Worm's meetings with the coupe in 
the lane when another informant 
stated emphatically that the occupant 
of the coupe was Henry Schmitt. 

"They had a signal between them," 
this man explained. "If Tommy was 
not at home, Dorothy would hang a 
white cloth on a clothes wire back of 
the house. Soon after the cloth ap- 
peared on the wire, she would go 
across the field and down to the lane. 
If there wasn't a cloth on the line, 
then she wouldn't come down and 
Schmitt would back the car out and 
go away." 

"Did Tommy Worm ever hear about 
this?" Caskey asked sternly. 

The man shook his head. "I don't 
know, except if he did, he would have 
stopped it, wouldn't he?" 

The man's statement was logical to 
the sheriff. Perhaps when Tommy had 
gotten around to trying to stop it was 
when he had disappeared! 

But, the officers agreed ruefully, how 
could they prove anything without a 
clue to the whereabouts of Tommy 
Worm or his body? Could they estab- 
lish . the fact that murder had been 
done without the corpus delicti? 

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said in one of their numerous discus- 
sions, "Mrs. Worm is worried about 
something more than her husband's 
continued absence. Looks to me like 
she is worried about her own skin. 
Now if we could only get her to open 



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up and explain about the log chain, 
the shots in the dark and a few other 
things — " 

"You mean she might be afraid of 
Henry Schmitt?" Gregson questioned 
and when Caskey nodded, the state 
agent continued, "In that case, we've 
got to make her more afraid of the 
state than she is of Schmitt. I move 
we start asking her questions and 
don't let up until she does some talk- 
ing." 

Caskey agreed to this plan. The 
three officers made repeated visits to 
the Worm home, asked pointed ques- 
tions about the log chain, the shots 
Anderson's employer had heard, and 
finally about the coupe in the lane 
and about Henry SchiViitt. 

After each visit, the sheriff could 
see that the woman's resistance had 
been worn down a little more. And 
finally, the strategy bore the fruit the 
investigators had hoped for. Mrs. 
Worm began her statement by saying 
she was afraid Henry Schmitt would 
kill her, her mother and her son. 

"And it's because you know too 
much, isn't that it?" Caskey queried. 

She jerked her head vigorously in 
the affirmative. "It's because I know 
he killed Tommy, shot him twice in 
the back with a pistol and a rifle." 

"Then the story about the stalled 
motorist was just so much hokum?" 
Caskey asked gently. 

The distraught woman nodded. 
"Henry thought it all up," she said. 
"But he forgot to put the log chain 
in the back of the pick-up truck. 
Otherwise, you wouldn't have found 
it in the barn." 

"Why don't you tell us the whole 
story, from the beginning?" Caskey 
asked her. 

"You've just about put the whole 
story together with your investiga- 
tion," she said in a dull voice. "Henry 
came by about five that evening, just 
like he said. But he didn't go home 
as soon as he stated. Instead, he stuck 
around until Tommy got to the house. 
When Tommy went out to feed the 
stock, he followed him. I had a feel- 
ing then that Henry was going to kill 
Tommy, so I got our rifle and hurried 
after him. Before I got outside I heard 
a shot. Then I saw Tommy. He was 
lying on the ground halfway between 
the corn crib and the barn. He was 
still alive for he was moaning loud. 
I screamed and went after Henry, I 
tried to hit him with the rifle but he 
was too strong. He took it from me 
and shot Tommy again. Then he 
threatened to kill me if I told the 
truth. He said I was in it as deep as 



he was and that if he didn't get me, 
the law would." 

"And what happened to your hus- 
band's body?" asked Caskey. 

"We buried it in a field on the farm. 
But Henry wasn't satisfied with that, 
so he forced me to help him dig it up 
and bury it again on his son's farm 
near Lenox. He told me after that he 
had dug it up again and threw it into 
the Mississippi near Keokuk." 

"And I suppose Schmitt killed your 
husband because he was in love with 
you?" Caskey probed. 

The woman nodded. "That's right. 
He forced his attentions upon me and 
I was afraid he'd kill me, my son and 
my mother if I didn't string along 
with him." 

Then she described how Schmitt, 
with a gun in his hand, had forced 
her to drive with him on long trips. 
He had even forced her, the sheriff 
learned, to accept a large payment on 
a fur coat which the woman coveted. 
He had forced other luxuries upon 
her and the frequent trips out of 
town. 

Mrs. Worm readily signed her con- 
fession. Schmitt was taken in custody 
at once and faced with the woman's 
statement. The elderly horse trader 
made a confession, too, but he de- 
clared that Mrs. Worm had fired the 
first shot into her husband's body. . 

During the next few days, Caskey, 
Gregson, Round and Jones escorted 
Schmitt to various points about the 
country in an effort to find Tommy 
Worm's body or clues which would 
point to where it had been. But they 
found nothing. 

Schmitt maintained that he had 
heaved it into the river at Keokuk. 

He was sentenced upon a plea of 
guilty a few days later, on March 30, 
1946, and was sentenced to 99 years in 
the penitentiary for his crime. 

On April 6, Mrs. Worm was indicted 
for first degree murder and on Thurs- 
day, April 25, she entered a guilty plea 
to second degree murder and was 
given a 45 year sentence. She was 
taken immediately to the woman's 
reformatory at Rockwell City, Iowa, 
where she is now serving out her 
sentence. 

Thus, even without his body to 
establish the fact of murder, Tommy 
Worm's violent death was ultimately 
avenged. 

The End 

Editor's Note: Names of Aaron 
Ryan, Gene Downer and John Ander- 
son are fictitious to protect the iden- 
tities of innocent parties. 



52 



FOR THE 
INSIDE STORY OF THE STAMP RACKET 

-DON'T MISS- 

The JANUARY ISSUE of 

UNCENSORED DETECTIVE 



BLOODY TRAIL OF CHINESE ARMY MURDERER 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27 



after he checked Dugan's story and 
found that the man had been telling 
the truth about his visit to the hos- 

.pital, the detective captain began to 

I change his mind.' 

It now looked as if there had been 
only one killer. That he had begun 

jfeis wild shooting spree at the chem- 
istry room on the second floor and 
continued it on the first floor, where 
he had shot his second victim. 

What had motivated the cold- 
blooded shootings? Was the killer 
someone who had gone berserk and 
started shooting anyone in sight? 
But both victims had been Chinese. 
Was the killer someone who held a 
grudge against the Chinese students 
as ti group, and killed indiscrimi- 
nately? Or, had the two victims been 
singled out by the killer and the 
entire shooting affray premeditated? 
Childers asked Dugan if he remem- 
bered approximately the trail over 
which he had followed the man with 
the gun. Dugan said he did, so 
Childers sent the two detectives along 
with the fellow to try to find some 
clues, at least a footprint. 

WHEN Captain Childers arrived at 
Lowry Field 30 minutes later, he 
found Major Chang at the front 
gate waiting for him. Chang was 
anxious for all the details and Childers 
told him what he knew on the way 
to the Major's office. Chang said that 
the detectives from headquarters had 
already arrived at the Field, and he 
had directed them to Lt. Ming, the 
officer directly in charge of the stu- 
dents in the chemistry laboratory 
when the shooting oecurred. 

In Major Chang's office, Childers 
went over with the Army Officer the 
records of the 14 chemistry students. 
He studied particularly the records of 
the two victims. Chang said their 
records were of the best. He had 
never had any trouble with either of 
them. They came from good families. 
Both were brilliant young men. 

Childers then asked for a list of the 
names of the cadets not on the field 
and accounted for at the time of the 
shooting. 

There had been one other class of 
Chinese students in session at the 
hospital at the time of the double mur- 
der. The detective captain got the 
names of each of them. 

He also got the names of the 15 
students who were on night passes, of 
the one who was A.W.O.L., and of the 
four who were on 2-day passes. 

If the killer was Chinese, he must 
necessarily have been one of the 
cadets who was off the field at the 
time. Childers and his men would 
have to question every one. 

The detective captain was still 
talking with Major Chang when he 
got a telephone call from Detective 
Roush. 

Roush said that he and Phillips had 
gone with Dugan over the path that 
Dugan had chased the short man car- 
rying the smoking gun. 

Roush and Phillips had some luck. 
They had been able to get a good, 
clear footprint of the man. It was a 
size 8 or 9, Roush said. He'd give the 
cast to the laboratory man at head- 
quarters as soon as he got back, find 
out for sure. 



"But that isn't all." Roush added. 
"Also found a half-empty box of 
sleeping piils. According to the label 
in the box they were sold by Rockv's 
Pharmacy at 2001 E. 17th Ave. to a 
man named Jammy Croft." 

"Sounds interesting," Childers said. 

"Of course," Roush added, "the 
killer might not have dropped them. 
Might have been someone else who 
went along the same way." 

"Nevertheless, locate this Jammy 
Croft, find out what he has to say." 

"Right, Captain." 

Childers asked Major Chang if he 
had heard of anyone named Jammy 
Croft. Chang shook his head. 

Childers went to Lt. Ming's office 
where the Detective Captain's men 
had been questioning the friends of 
the two victims, and learned some 
very interesting- things. Childers had 
thought all along the two victims 
must have some enemies, if he just 
could get hold of the right people to 
tell him about them. The detectives 
had found the right people. 

Cadet Chou. shot on the first floor 
at the hospital, had been in an argu- 
ment two weeks before his murder 
with a cadet named Ming Yuan Wong. 
For some time — even before sailing to 
the United States— Chou and Wong 
had not been on exactly friendlv 
terms. But two weeks ago they had 
gotten into an argument over a card 
game. Chou" claimed that Wong had 
cheated him. The argument finally 
resulted in a fight in which Chou had 
given Wong a thorough thrashing. 

Tien, the cadet major who was shot 
in the chemistry laboratory, had also 
had his troubles with a cadet named 
Yuan Fu Tien. Yuan Fu was the son 
of a high-ranking Chinese Army Gen- 
eral and was very cocky about it. He 
resented taking orders from his su- 
periors. Tien had tried to put Yuan 
Fu in his proper place. They had 
words, then a fight, started by Yuan 
Fu. Yuan Fu was restricted to the 
Field. But he had gone A.W.O.L. 

'•So far, so good," Childers said, 
lighting a cigarette. "Yuan Fu is 
A.W.O.L. and Wong is on a pass. Either 
one could have done the shooting." 

"Wong is due back from his pass at 
7 o'clock in the morning," one of the 
detectives said. "We can question 
him then." 

"And we'll question this Yuan Fu 
as soon as the Military Police catch up 
with him." 

But that wasn't all the detectives 
had learned. Chou, the second mur- 
der victim, had had more trouble. 
Nothing serious, but it bore looking 
into. 

An ex-G. I. named Tom Billings 
had been engaged with him in a 
heated argument just 3 days before 
the murders. Billings had been em- 
ployed as a civilian at Lowry since 
his discharge. He had been stationed 
in the Pacific during the war. Three 
days ago he had been talking with a 
couple of his friends and made some 
remarks about China. Chou resented 
it and told Billings so. They had a 
few words, but no fight. 

There, the Lowry Field angle came 
to an end at the moment. Childers 
and his men went back to headquar- 
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Back at his office, Childers at once 
dispatched two men to pick up Tom 
Billings, bring him in for questioning. 

Detectives Roush and Phillips had 
been making some progress. The 
laboratory man -had examined the 
cast of the shoeprint found near the 
hospital. The shoe was almost new 
and was size 8^. It was a common 
make, found in many department 
stores. 

The depth of the shoe print in the 
soft dirt indicated that the wearer 
was not a heavy man, weighing prob- 
ably between 125 and 150 pounds. 

"What about the druggist where the 
sleeping pills were sold?" Childers 
asked. 

"No luck. He didn't remember this 
Jammy Croft." 

"Got any leads yet on Croft?" 

"None. There are six Crofts listed 
in the telephone directory. We've 
checked 'em all, but none of them 
ever heard of a Jammy Croft." 

"Keep checking all hotels and room- 
ing houses. Don't overlook an angle." 

THE officers who were to pick up Tom 
Billings for questioning had been 
gone only 10 minutes when two 
patrolmen came in with a young man 
about 22 years old. His blue sport 
shirt was fresh and clean. His tan 
gabardine trousers looked as if they 
had just come from the cleaners. 

"This fellow says his name is Tom 
Billings," the patrolman said. "He 
came close to the description of the 
man on that second pick-up order, 
only he didn't have a top coat on. He 
was standing in an alley near a tav- 
ern out by the hospital. He looked 
suspicious so we picked him up." 

The Detective Captain sat at his 
desk eyeing the man. This was a sur- 
prise. He sends two men to get Tom 
Billings for questioning. Then two 
patrolmen bring in Billings from the 
pick-up order issued shortly after the 
double murder. 

And Billings did fit the description 
rather closely, except for his height. 
He was about 5' 11", but didn't weigh 
more than 150 pounds. The X-Ray 
technician might have been mistaken 
about the killer's height! 

"I'd like to know what this is all 
about," Billings said, with a shrug of 
his shoulders. "It's not that I mind 
so much being picked up by the police. 
It's just that — " 

Childers got up from his desk, 
walked up to Billings. "We want to 
question you about a murder. That's 
what it's all about." 

"A murder!" Billings' eyes bulged. 
Then he smiled, regaining that calm, 
nonchalant air. "What murder?" 

"Did you know a Chinese Army 
cadet called Chou Ping Yuan?" 

"Don't recall the name." 

"Maybe you'll recall the incident. 
You made some remark about China 
three days ago. Chou called your 
hand." 

"Oh," and again Billings smiled, 
"yes, I remember that. He took me 
wrong. I don't have anything against 
China. It's OK. I just like the 
United States better, that's all." 

"Maybe you'd better tell me where 
you've been all evening. You see, 
Chou was murdered early tonight." 

"For heaven's sake!" This time 
Billings didn't smile. 

"Your activities of the evening — 
remember?" 

"Oh yes," Billings hesitated a mo- 
ment. He frowned, then he started 
talking. He said he had gotten off 
work at the Field at 7 PM. He went 



by a tavern, had a glass of beer, then 
went home, arriving there about 8 PM. 

He had cleaned up, eaten and left 
home at 8: 45. He was to meet a 
friend at the tavern, and was to be 
picked up, at 9 o'clock. The friend 
didn't show up, however, and Billings 
had started home when he was picked 
up by the patrolman at 11:45. 

That was his story, and he clung 
to it. 

His shoe size was 9Vz, a size differ- „ 
ence between his shoe and that which 
had made the tracks by the hospital. 
Not too great a difference. Still, it_ 
was not an SVfc! And Billings weighed 
148 pounds! 

Childers sent two officers to check 
the youth's story. 

At the same time, he put four men. 
on the job of checking every .38 cali- 
ber gun registered in Denver and the 
surrounding area. 

The investigation slowed down then 
until 7 o'clock the following morning." 
That was the hour Ming Wong was - 
due back at Lowry from his pass. 

But Wong didn't appear! * 

Detectives Mark O'Brien and James 
F. Hayes had been at the field wait- 
ing for him. O'Brien telephoned the 
information to Childers. 

"Now what?" O'Brien asked. 

"Find out where he planned to go 
on that pass," Childers said. 

"Already have. He was going up 
to a friend's cabin near Evergreen." 

Evergreen, a resort town back in 
the mountains, is only 30 miles from 
Denver. Childers told O'Brien and 
Hayes to go there at once, see what 
they could find out about Wong. 

When the officers checking on the 
registered .38 caliber guns brought in 
the list to Captain Childers, he ran 
through the list hurriedly. But he 
stopped suddenly when he came to 
the name, "Yu Chin." There were 
three other Chinese names on the list, 
but they had owned their guns for a 
long time. 

Yu Chin had purchased a .38 caliber 
revolver at a pawn shop in downtown 
Denver on May 4, just a few days 
after the Chinese students had arrived 
in Denver. 

"Interesting coincidence to say the 
least," Childers said slowly. He picked 
up the telephone, called Major Chang 
at Lowry Field. 

But the major said he had no cadets 
under him by that name. Childers 
groaned. 

The detective captain sent two men 
to Lowry to question all the cadets 
who had been off the field at the time 
of the murder. 

"And be sure to ask them about a 
guy named Yu Chin," was Childers' 
parting remark. 

THEN* the detective captain gave 
four men the job of checking per- 
sonally everyone who owned .38 
caliber revolvers in Denver. 

Billings was a very relieved man 
the officers who had been checking his 
story returned to headquarters and 
told Childers that Billings had been 
telling the truth. He was at home 
when the double murders were com- 
mitted and could not possibly have 
been the killer. So Billings was re- 
leased with apologies. 

Billings had no sooner been dropped 
from the picture, however, when 
Jammy Croft jumped into the lime- 
light again. Roush and Phillips, 
checking all the hotels and rooming 
houses, had found that a Jammy Croft 
had registered at the Western Hotel at 
1129 21st Street at 11:30 P.M. the night 



of the murder. He gave his address 
as Colorado Springs. 

When Croft registered, he askect-the 
hotel manager, Frank Kyono, for the* 
room number of Dr. T. K. Kobyashi, a 
resident of the hotel. Kyono told 
Croft that Kobyashi had gone out on 
an emergency call and he didn't know 
when to expect him back. Croft then 
had gone to his room, but left the 
hotel a few minutes later. He had not 
yet returned. 

Childers instructed Roush and Phil- 
lips to wait in the hotel lobby until 
Croft came back, then bring him to 
headquarters for questioning. 

Who was this Jammy Croft? How 
did he fit into this picture of double 
murder? What had he been doing out 
by Colorado General Hospital? When 
had he dropped that box of sleeping 
tablets? 

Childers called the hospital. No one 
by the name of Jammy Croft worked 
there. They had no patient by that 
name. 

The Detective Captain telephoned 
Chief of Police I. B. "Dad" Bruce at 
Colorado Springs, asked Bruce to try 
to get some information on Croft, 
since Croft had used Colorado Springs 
as his address when registering at the 
hotel. 

A telephone call from Detective 
O'Brien at 'Evergreen did nothing 
more than to complicate the picture 
still further. Ming Wong, the stu- 
dent who had not returned to the 
Field when his pass expired at 7 
o'clock that morning, had left his 
friend's home near Evergreen the pre- 
vious night about 4 o'clock, intending 
to come to Denver. But he had not 
arrived. What had happened to him? 
A pick-up order went out for Wong 
immediately. 

When the officers who had been 
checking the addreses of the regis- 
tered owners of .38 caliber guns re- 
turned to headquarters, they were 
smiling. They had located all the 
guns and all the owners, except Yu 
Chin! The address Yu Chin gave was 
a private home. The people who lived 
there said they had never heard of 
him. 

"I've got an idea," Childers said 
suddenly. "Get me a sample of Chin's 
handwriting from the store where he 
bought the gun. And get me a sample 
of Croft's handwriting from the hotel. 
We might learn some interesting 
things." 

Childers had a talk with Dr. Koby- 
ashi. The doctor said he did remem- 
ber the name Croft. He said Croft 
had come to him for a prescription for 
sleeping tablets. 

Croft said he was a Chinese- Ameri- 
can. That he had been in the Army 
and overseas. His nerves were shot. 
He couldn't sleep. But other than 
that, the doctor didn't know anything 
about him. 

Childers knew a little more about 
Croft, however, when his officers 
brought him samples of Croft's and 
Chin's handwriting. 

They were identical! This mysteri- 
ous Jammy Croft and Yu Chin were 
one and the same person! 

"But who in the devil is he really?" 
Childers said, banging his fist down 
hard on his desk. 

There was still no report from Ming 
Wong! 

Chief Bruce telephoned from Colo- 
rado Springs that he had been unable 
to get any trace of a Jammy Croft! 

Roush and Phillips were relieved 
from the hotel guard to get some rest. 
Police Sgt. Steve Allison and Patrol- 



man Merle Huttenhow took up the 
watch, 

Childers was about ready to tear 
his hair out when he got a telephone 
call from the Military Police at Lowry 
Field. They had been checking on 
the A.W.O.L. cadet, Yuan Fu Tien. 
They had located a friend of Tien's in 
Denver who had some interesting 
information on the cadet. Would 
Childers like to talk with him? 

Childers was at the Field in a mat- 
ter of minutes. 

Tien's friend said that Tien had pur- 
chased a ticket for Colorado Springs 
on Monday, May 27 — the day before 
the murder. Tien had received $250 
from home that day and he said he 
was going to Colorado Springs and 
"blow it." 

"But that wasn't what worried me," 
the friend said, frowning. "Tien talked 
to me for 30 minutes about Yu Chung 
and Ping Yuan — the two cadets who 
were murdered. He said they had dis- 
graced him and he would never live it 
down. He said he hated Yu Chung 
because Yu Chung whipped him. He 
hated Ping Yuan because Ping Yuan 
was a friend of Yu Chung's and had 
told his superior officers that Tien 
had been behaving badly." 

"Do you think Tien killed the two 
cadets?" Childers demanded. 

"I don't know. I just said I was 
worried about it, after what Tien told 
me." 

Childers asked Major Chang, the 
Commanding Officer, for a sample of 
Tien's handwriting. Then Childers 
saw the whole picture. Tien, Chin 
and Croft, they were not three per- 
sons, but one! Chin and Croft were 
really Yuan Fu Tien, the A.W.OX. 
cadet! 

IT was 7:30 Wednesday night, and 
Childers was still examining Tien's 
handwriting when he got a tele- 
phone call from Police Sgt. Allison. 

"Something's about to break here, 
Captain," Allison said quickly. "The 
hotel manager just came down from 
Croft's room. He went up to give it 
to another guest, thinking Croft had 
left for good. But the room is locked 
from the inside. Someone is already 
in there. It's probably Croft. He 
must have crawled in the window of 
the room from the fire escape." 

"I'll be there, pronto," Childers said. 
"Don't let him get away." 

"Don't worry!" 

When Childers arrived at the West- 
ern Hotel 20 minutes later, Kyono, the 
hotel manager, met him at the front 
door. 

"It's already over," Kyono said, 
shaking his head. "Croft is dead. He 
shot himself." 

Kyono led Childers to "Croft's" 
room. The young cadet was lying on 
the floor near the foot of the bed. In 
his hand was a .38 calibre revolver. 
There was a large, gaping hole in the 
center of his forehead. 

Allison explained what had hap- 
pened. Allison had gone out onto the 
fire escape to keep the cadet from 
skipping out that way. Huttenhow 
had demanded that "Croft" open the 
door. "Croft" refused. Huttenhow shot 
the lock off. But not in time to keep 
the cadet from killing himself. 

On the dresser in the room was a 
one-way bus ticket for Colorado 
Springs, purchased May 27! 

Beside the bus ticket was a note, 
written by the cadet. It read: 

"I am not weak. I will not beat any- 
body, but I will not let anybody beat 
me. I am so ashamed to be abused. 



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I cannot live with those animals bo- 
side me. My mind is very clever." 

Ballistics tests proved that the gun 
Tien held in his lifeless hand was the 
one that had been used in the double 
murder at the hospital. Also, Tien's 
foot was size 8V2! 

Wong returned to the Field with a 
good alibi. After he left his friend at 
Evergreen, he met another friend and 
they went to Colorado Springs. They 
were at Colorado Springs when the 
two cadets were shot. Early Wednes- 
day morning they had started back to 
Denver, driving through the moun- 
tains. 

Their car had broken down. They 



couldn't get to a telephone to call, 
After the Hospital Murder was 
marked "closed," the bodies of th 
two victims and the killer we:, 
shipped together to Bliss Field at Ei 
Paso. Texas for a military burial. 

After the Army received word from 
the next of kin of the three cadets, 
and of the Chinese government, final 
disposal will be made of the remains 

The Enu 

Editor's Note: The -navies Mint: 
Wong, Jack Dugan and Tom Biliuus 
arc fictitious to save embarrassment 
to persons innoce-ntly involved. 



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Howell gave Chief Kean the ad- 
dress in Harrisonburg where the game 
was held the previous night Ho also 
handed Kean a list of all the men 
who attended the poker party. 

Kean turned the list over to Joseph. 
"Just to be sure, check "em." 

Howell, watching the officers, took 
two deep drags on his cigarette. He 
said, "Officer Joseph hero was asking 
me if I knew of any enemies of Frank. 
I told him the only one 1 ever heard 
about was a guy named Jim Thomp- 
i son." 

"Go on," Kean said. 
"Well. Thompson and Frank got 
'. into a fight about February 3rd. I 
believe it was. out at the Spotswood 
; Country Club." 

"Sounds interesting," Kean said, 
j leaning across his desk. "Go on." 

"Well, the way Frarfk told it to me. 
j was like this: Frank and Grace were 
out to the country club watching a 
utter-bug contest. Frank thought 
Thompson was paying too much at- 
tention to Grace and he told Thomp- 
son to scram or there was going to 
be trouble. Thompson apparently 
I didn't like the idea and he and Frank 
. had some words. Then they went 
; outside the club and Frank cleaned 
I up Thompson, but good." 

Kean turned to Joseph. "Bring in 
! Thompson, after you check the poker 
party." 

Getting no more information from 
Howell and Stilwell, Chief Kean 
turned to Marvin Taylor. 

Taylor said he had brought Frank 
Smith home from the Rockingham 
Garage the night of the murder. He 
said Frank got out of his car at 6:30 
p. m. on the corner of Shenandoah 
Avenue and West Market Street. 
"How did Smith act?" Kean asked. 
"Oh," Taylor said, "friendly as 
usual." , 

When Howell, Stilwell and Taylor 
had left the office, Kean leaned back 
in his chair. His eyes half closed. 
He wondered about this Jim Thomp- 
son; about the man in the big black 
Buick sedan who had been so attentive 
to Grace Smith during the year before 
her husband was discharged from the 
Army. The two facts put together 
were adding up to some rather 
interesting conclusions. Just how 
interesting would depend upon the 
information Policemen Rogers and 
Norvello brought in after checking 
the background of the pretty widow 
of the murdered man. 

v ' ;nk Smith's funeral was a rather 
elaborate affair, which was handled 



by the American Legion. Chief Kean 
attended to keep a close eye on every- 
one present. 

ARRANGEMENTS for the funeral 
wore made by Ralph Garner, man- 
ager of a restaurant in Harri- 
sonburg. Garner was a veteran of 
World War I. He had remained In 
Paris for 12 years after the war and 
had been in charge of colors for 
Marsha] Foch. 

So far as Chief Kean was able to 
observe. Grace Smith behaved as ;in\ 
woman would, attending the funeral 
of her husband. Her girl friend. 
Dorothy Bell, was by her side all the 
time. Also with Grace Smith during 
the funeral was her brother, C. R. 
Montgomery. Grace was clad in a 
black dress, dark haL and veil. 

Officer Joseph completed the check- 
ing of the poker party and was nol 
at all excited with the results. How- 
ell and Stilwell had been at the 
party from 8 o'clock, the night of thi 
murder, until 2 a.m. the following 
morning. 

Joseph had picked up Jim Thomp- 
son as he had bec ! n instructed to do, 
The results were more interesting 

Thompson, a man about 40 voir 
old, was dressed in a neat graj suil 
and gave the air of a prosperous busi- 
ness man. He stood about 6 feet 1? 
inches and weighed about 200 pounds. 
He offered Kean a cigar and when the 
Police Chief refused, Thompson took 
one himself, lighted it. He sat down 
in the chair in front of Kean's desk 

"I guess. Chief, you want to know 
about the little scrap 1 had with Frank 
Smith out at the Country Club""' 

"Right." 

"Well, not much to tell, i was 
talking with Grace Smith a few min- 
utes all right but there was nothing 
at all out of the way. I offered to ge 
her a better place to sit to watch the 
jitter-bug contest going on at thai 
time. I talked to her a little b 
about the contest, then Frank stepped 
up and said to leave his wife alone. 
He called me a nasty name. We wen' 
outside and had a fight. That's ., 
there was to il." 

"How long have you known Frank 
Smith's wifo?" Kean asked, 

Thompson dragged on his cigar and 
watched the smoke drift slowly up 
into the air. "For some time, bul nol 
in the way you're thinking. I met 
her down at the insurance agency 
where she works several month.- aj 
My business takes me there quit 
often. That's as far as it ever went. 



I never asked her for a date. I just 
knew her, that's all." 

"What kind of a car do you drive?" 
Kean asked. 

"Oldsmobile sedan." 

"What color?" 

"Black, but why are you so inter- 
ested in the kind of a car I drive?" 

"Just wondering," Kean said. 

After Jim. Thompson left head- 
quarters, Kean asked State Trooper 
Kiser to check further on Jim Thomp- 
son. There was something odd about 
that man. 

When Officers Rogers and Norvelle 
came back to Kean's office, they knew 
considerably more about the life of 
the glamorous widow. From a friend 
of Grace Smith's, the officers had 
learned that the woman was a rather 
frequent customer of a fortune teller, 
Marie Haynes, who lived in the near- 
by village of Staunton, Virginia. 

"Fortune tellers usually know a lot 
of things," Rogers said. "Maybe we 
ought to have a talk with Marie." 

"I'm interested," Kean said, "but 
I'll put Joseph on that angle. I want 
you and Norvelle to keep covering 
Grace Smith. The widow interests 
me." 

Kean had, in fact, become so inter- 
ested in the "widow angle" of the 
case that he paid another visit to the 
home. He asked Mrs. Smith if he 
could check through Frank Smith's 
belongings. 

"Why, certainly," she said, smiling. 
"If there is anything there that would 
help. If Frank was murdered, I want 
to know who did it." 

"I think we may be able to tell you 
soon," Kean said. "We'll certainly 
keep you posted what is happening." 

CHIEF KEAN went through Frank 
Smith's letters, his Army memoirs 
and other personal papers. Nothing 
interested him until he found a small 
slip of paper, a statement from Dr. 
R. E. Jones in Harrisonburg. Smith 
had been to see Dr. Jones three times. 
The first visit was made on February 
4, 1945, the day Smith and Thompson 
had their fight! The last visit was 
made on February 20th, the day of 
the murder. 

Chief Kean went immediately to 
see Dr. Jones. 

What the medico had to say was 
most enlightening. Smith had first 
come to him complaining of a severe 
stomach ache. Smith told the doctor 
he had taken some cough syrup that 
morning just before going to work 
and had become extremely ill. He 
said the cough syrup tasted very 
strange and he spit most of it out. 

Dr. Jones asked to see the cough 
syrup and Smith brought him the bot- 
tle. The doctor tested the contents 
and found it to be poisonous white 
iodine, not cough syrup. 

Kean made a quick return visit to 
Grace Smith. 

"Oh, that cough syrup." Her face 
turned white. Her hands trembled, 
but she tried to smile. "Frank came 
home and asked me about that. I told 
him I had gotten some white iodine 
and guessed I must have put it in the 
wrong bottle by mistake." 

"I've a different idea," Kean said. 
"I think you put the white iodine in 
that bottle on purpose. I think you 
intended to poison your husband!" 

Grace Smith's face suddenly flamed 
with anger. "How dare you say such 
a thing?" 

"You better get your coat, Mrs. 
Smith. I'm taking you to jail and 



booking you on suspicion of murder." 

After Mrs. Smith was placed in jail, 
she quickly recovered from" her vio- 
lent anger and became most humble 
and sweet once more. 

"But why would I want to kill 
Frank?" She asked Chief Kean and 
Commonwealth's Attorney Lawrence 
H. Hoover. 

"We don't know yet," Kean said. 
"If we did, we would charge you with 
murder right now." 

Kean was more positive than ever 
that he had taken a step in the right 
direction by arresting Grace Smith, 
when State Trooper Kiser brought in 
the information that a woman neigh- 
bor who lived across the street from 
the Smith house saw Mrs. Smith re- 
turn to her home the night of the 
murder at 9 o'clock. The woman said 
she was sure of the time because she 
had just turned on the 9 o'clock news 
broadcast. 

"Then that means," Kean said sud- 
denly, "that Grace Smith was at home 
when her husband was murdered 
about 9:30 or 10 o'clock!" 

"Wait a minute," Kiser broke in. 
"That's not all. 1 found another 
neighbor woman who lives on the 
same block named Mrs. May Ryan. 
She told me that she saw Grace Smith 
and some large man about 45 years 
old standing on the froril porch of the 
Smith home about 10:15 the night of 
the murder." 

Kean got suddenly to his feet. "Jim 
Thompson, do you suppose?" 

"I don't know. Mrs. Ryan tells me 
that she saw the same man at the 
Smith home several times during the 
past year. But she didn't know who 
he was." 

"Go get Thompson again," Kean de- 
manded. "Also get this Mrs. Ryan 
and bring her down here to take a 
look at Thompson. We will see if he 
is the man she's been talking about." 

Kean now had enough information 
to crack down. Commonwealth's At- 
torney Hoover charged the woman 
with first degree murder. 

But when Mrs. Ryan had a look at 
Jim Thompson she shook her head. 
"He's not the one." 

So the question of Mrs. Smith's 
"frequent visitor" who drove the big 
black Buick sedan still remained a 
secret. 

KEAN and Hoover questioned Grace 
Smith for over eight hours, but she 
consistently denied meeting any- 
one at her home at 10:15 the night of 
the murder. She said there had been 
no one to see her who drove a big 
black car, except her brother. "But 
he didn't come to see me the night 
Frank was murdered," Mrs. Smith 
said. 

But Grace Smith's story began to 
gradually fall apart when Officer Jos- 
eph returned from Staunton, after 
paying a visit to the fortune teller, 
Marie Haynes. 

"The fortune teller told me," Joseph 
said, "that only five nights before 
Frank was murdered, Grace Smith 
came to see her. Grace asked the 
fortune teller if her lover was true to 
her, and the fortune teller told her 
she should not ask such questions be- 
cause she was a married woman. The 
fortune teller said that a man driving 
a big black Buick sedan usually 
brought Grace to the fortune teller's 
home. Marie Haynes said the man 
usually remained in the car, although 
he brought Grace Smith to the door 
and came to the door to get her after 




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Mrs. Smith had received her reading." 

Then she would recognize the man 
if she saw him, wouldn't she?" Kean 
asked. 

"She said she would." 

Kean's eyes narrowed. "We're on 
the right trail, I know it. You get 
what men you need and start check- 
ing all through Harrisonburg and in 
every village around here. Get the 
name of every man who drives a big 
black Buick sedan or a big black 
sedan of any kind." 

Then Kean went to see Montgom- 
ery, the brother of the brown-haired 
widow. Montgomery said he had 
gone to see his sister several times 
during the past year but had not been 
to the Smith home any time during 
the day or night of the murder. 

KEAN was sure, however, that the 
sun was breaking through the 
clouds at last, when a cleaner in 
down-town Harrisonburg reported 
that a man named Ralph Garner had 
brought in a suit stained with blood. 
Garner, when he gave the suit to the 
cleaner, explained that he had been 
in a fight with some troublesome man 
down at the restaurant, where he was 
manager. 

"You told me to call you whenever 
anyone brought in any bloody 
clothes," the cleaner told Chief Kean. 
"So I thought I better call you." 

Kean was more interested in Ralph 
Garner, when he found out that Gar- 
ner owned a big black Buick sedan. 

In a way, however, the whole idea 
that Garner was involved in this case 
seemed ridiculous. Garner had been 
in charge of the colors during the 
American Legion funeral. During 
that time Garner had paid no atten- 
tion to Grace Smith. 

Kean immediately got a search war- 
rant and went to Garner's home on 
Clinton Avenue. He gave the place 
a thorough going-over. In the base- 
ment of the house, Kean found more 
bloody clothing, a shirt that was al- 
most saturated with blood; a blood- 
stained tie and coat. 

He picked up the telephone direc- 
tory and glanced through it. The 
page on which the "Frank Smith" 
name would have appeared was torn 
out of the book. That was strange. 

Kean took the telephone directory 
along with him. 

As soon as he arrived at headquar- 
ters, Kean put two more men on the 
job of following Ralph Garner. Then 
Kean called in Dr. Henry J. McCor- 
mack and George W. Kyi, crack FBI 
investigators. 

When the FBI investigators took 
the telephone directory and studied it 
thoroughly in the laboratory, they 
made a most interesting discovery 
that brought all the loose ends of the 
investigation to a head. 



On the page of the directory on 
which the name "Frank Smith" was 
located, the FBI men found the faint 
imprint of two telephone numbers 
which had been written by someone 
with a pencil. 

The two telephone numbers were 
466 and 629-W. The first telephone 
number was that of the insurance 
agency where Grace Smith was em- 
ployed. The second telephone num- 
ber was that of Grace Smith's home. 

Chief Kean immediately got a sam- 
ple of Ralph Garner's handwriting 
from the man at the restaurant where 
Garner was employed. 

Kean gave the sample handwriting 
to the two FBI investigators. 

Laboratory tests indicated that the 
handwriting was the same as that 
left by the pencil imprint on Garner's 
telephone directory. 

Ralph Garner was immediately ar- 
rested and brought to police head- 
quarters. Then Mrs. Ryan, and Marie 
Haynes. the fortune teller, were 
brought to headquarters and asked to 
look at Ralph Garner and see if they 
could identify him. 

Mrs. Ryan said that Garner was 
the man who had been visiting Grace 
Smith during the year while her hus- 
band was in 'the Army; and Mane 
Haynes said Garner was the man who , 
had been bringing Grace Smith to 
her home in the big black Buick 
sedan. 

That was all the officers needed. 
Ralph Garner was immediately 
charged with first degree murder 
along with Grace Smith. 

"This is the damndest outrage I 
ever heard of," Garner screamed. 
"I tell you I never knew Grace Smith 
until her husband died and I was in 
charge of the funeral. Naturally I 
got acquainted with her then. Thai's 
the first time I ever saw her." 

Grace Smith had the same thing tn 
say about Ralph Garner, but when the 
two came to trial the jury did not 
believe either one of them. 

On October 23, 1945, Grace Smith 
was found guilty of second degree 
murder and was sentenced by Judge 
H. W. Bertram to 20 years in the Vir- 
ginia State Penitentiary. 

Through legal maneuvering, Gar- 
ner was not brought to trial until 
April 25, 1946. 

Garner was also convicted of mur- 
der and was given a sentence of 
20 years. 

The End 

The names of Jim Thompson, T. D. 
Powell, Bob Stilwell, Dorothy Bell. 
May Ryan, Marie Haynes, Mrs. M. A. 
Green, Mrs. R. B. King, Dr. R. E. 
Jones, C. R. Montgomery and Marvin 
Taylor are fictitious and are used in 
this story to protect innocent persons 
— Editor. 



For Additional 

FACTS ON CRIME 

. . . READ . . . 

Headquarters Detective 



STRANGE CLUE OF THE AVOCADO PEARS 



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 



birth, Mrs. Valdez could speak only a 
few words of English. With Detective 
Vasquez acting as interpreter, Bush 
patiently asked a few necessary 
questions. 

Sobbing gently, the bereaved wife 
related that she, her husband and in- 
fant daughter, had dined at home on 
that evening of September 26. 1932, 
then had gone to a movie uptown, 
afterwards stopping for coffee at a 
cafe in Ybor City, Tampa's large and 
colorful Latin settlement. They had 
returned home about ten-thirty. 

Mrs. Valdez then related how they 
had found the two maskecUmen in the 
kitchen. Her description of the killers 
was sketchy, the same as that sup- 
plied by Poston. The young wife was 
positive that she had never seen either 
of the men before. 

"But I looked straight into the eyes 
of that devil who killed my Armando." 
she declared bitterly. "They were 
black, hateful eyes and I will never 
forget them as long as I live. I will 
know that man if I ever see him 
again!" 

Chief Bush asked, "You say one of 
the men told your husband, 'You 
know what we want.' Have you any 
idea what he meant, Mrs. Valdez?" 

"That, I do not know,' 7 frowned the 
young mother. "Unless it was Ar- 
mando's money. My husband usually 
had fairly large sums with him. But 
they fled after shooting Armando, and 
did not take the money." 

BOTH residents of Havana, Mrs. Val- 
dez said that they had been coming 
to Tampa each summer for the 
past four years where her husband 
was in business importing avocado 
pears. The fruit was shipped from 
Cuba to Tampa by boat. From Tam- 
pa, Valdez, operating a fleet of trucks, 
had the pears driven north to the large 
wholesale markets in Jacksonville 
and Atlanta. It had proven a profit- 
able business, growing in volume each 
year. 

Bush looked up quickly. 

"What about trouble with the local 
growers?" he asked Mrs. Valdez. 
"Did any of them protest about your 
husband bringing in fruit from Cuba 
to compete with them?" 

The girl shook her head. She had . 
never heard of any trouble like that. 
Her husband had never undersold the 
current market prices and there had 
always been a ready sale for as much 
of the fruit, both local and imported. 
as could be supplied. So far as she 
knew her husband had been well liked 
throughout the trade. 

"And in Havana?" asked Bush. "Did 
he have any enemies there?" 

"No," replied Mrs. Valdez. "Ar- 
mando was regarded highly by every- 
one. He built his business on his 
reputation." 

The truck drivers, explained the 
wife, had been paid on a salary and 
commission basis. To the "best of her 
knowledge^there had never been any 
dissatisfaction as the result of these 
transactions. 

"You have the names and addresses 
of these drivers?" Bush wanted to 
know. "In fact, all of the persons 
with whom your husband dealt?" 

Mrs. Valdez replied that she did, 
and produced a complete set of books 



pertaining to her slain husband's busi- 
ness. Detective Vasquez, translating 
from the Spanish, made notes of all 
information that might aid the in- 
vestigation. 

Valdez had made the local de- 
liveries and collections in Tampa per- 
sonally. That evening he had had j 
$150 in his pockets which represented I 
his collections for the past few days. 
This had not been an unusual amount. 
declared Mrs. Valdez, but she could 
think of no other reason why her 
husband had been murdered. 

A search of the victim's pockets 
revealed that the $150 was still intact. 
Chief Bush was puzzled. Could 
thwarted robbery have been the 
motive? If so, why had the sliced 
avocado pears been strewn about the 
back porch and kitchen? Did the 
destroyed fruit indicate an intense 
rivalry somewhere in the background 
of the slain importer's business, un- 
known to Mrs. Valdez, or had this been 
nothing more than a wanton act of 
vandalism carried out by the waiting 
killers? 

After Mrs. Valdez had rested, Bush 
requested that she make a search of 
the rest of the house. The young 
woman complied, and disclosed that 
some of her jewelry was missing 
from a dresser drawer in the bed- 
room; two pearl necklaces, her wrist 
watch and one of her husband's wrist 
watches. All had been valuable, but 
not precious. 

Other jewelry more valuable, how- 
ever, was still intact in a leather box 
in another drawer of the dresser, in- 
cluding rings, brooches, another wrist 
watch, a gold crucifix. So here was 
another puzzling factor. Why had less 
than half of the jewelry been stolen? 

"They might have been ransacking ''■ 
the dresser when the Valdez's came | 
home and interrupted their search," 
suggested Detective Morris. 

Bush was doubtful. "From the | 
number of those cigarette stubs on , 
the kitchen floor," he answered, "those J 
men were in the house long enough 
to search every bit of it without in- j 
terruption." 

The heartbroken young mother and ! 
her baby were given over to the care I 
of relatives while Bush and his men | 
speeded their efforts to find a clue that j 
would be of help in solving the mys- I 
tery. Bsh told Meighn before the vie- I 
tim's body was removed. 

"Let us have those slugs in the body 
as soon as you can so we can know 
what kind of gun was used." 

The fingerprint man finished his 
work. "A lot of smudges and one 
good print from the screen," he re- 
ported. "That's all. These birds 
weren't amateurs; they didn't leave 
their calling cards all over the place." 

"Check that print with the files," 
directed the Chief. "If they weren't 
amateurs, we may have something on 
them." 

No further evidence or clues could 
be found in the murder house. The 
night-long search of the neighborhood 
did not provide a single suspect. This 
was not surprising, however, since 
even a working description of the 
killers was lacking. 

The Medical Examiner sent the 
death bullets over to Bush's office 
shortly after daylight. They were .32 




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calibre, with riflings and landmarks 
clear. The murder gun could be eas- 
ily identified should it ever be found. 
The fingerprint lifted from the win- 
dow screen failed to identify any of 
the known criminals on record in the 
Identification Department. Bush 
promptly dispatched a copy of the 
print to the FBI in Washington for a 
check with their files. 

SHORTLY before noon. Detective 
Vasquez, who had gone back out 
to the house, returned with Mrs. 
Valdez's missing jewelry, the two 
necklaces and the two watches. A 
neighbor, Hilda Prendez, had found 
them in the alley beside the house. 
Bush looked at the jewelry and shook 
his head in bewilderment. 

"Everywhere we turn in this case," 
he frowned, "one theory disputes an- 
other. Now, was this stuff accident- 
ally dropped in the alley, or was it, 
deliberately flung aside?" 

"It beats me," admitted Vasquez. 
"One minute it looks,. like robbery, 
then like something else." 

"Well," the Detective Chief said 
doggedly, "get some men and start 
checking on this list of Valdez's busi- 
ness associates. Then check on all 
of his competitors. See if you can 
find somebody who had a grudge 
against him. I feel somehow that the 
motive behind this murder was some- 
thing far deeper than a robbery that 
misfired." 

One by one, the slain man's former 
business associates were checked out 
as possible suspects. All of the truck 
drivers were honest hard-working 
men who expressed complete satis- 
faction with their dealings with Val- 
dez. No competitor could be found 
who had harbored a grudge against 
the slain fruit broker. With a good 
description of the killers lacking, and 
the single fingerprint and death bul- 
lets as the only clues, there simply 
was no opening into the mystery. 

Mrs. Valdez offered $500 reward for 
any information that would lead to 
arrest and conviction of the killers. 
Chief Bush added another $100. But 
even the lure of this reward money 
failed to bring forth a tangible clue. 

"The answer to this riddle," Bush 
suggested on the fifth day, "might be 
found out in Ybor City. Valdez was 
a Cuban and had several customers 
out there. Also, he and his wife prob- 
ably spent a lot of their leisure time 
in local clubs." 

Detective Vasquez shrugged. "We 
can try, Chief, but they are mighty 
clannish out there." 

"Take Deteceive Lopez with you," 
suggested Bush. "You boys both 
speak Spanish and have a lot of 
friends out there. See what you can 
find out about Valdez's friends or 
enemies." 

The 30,000 Cubans and Spaniards 
who inhabited Ybor City were mostly 
engaged in the cigar making industry; 
they lived tightly among themselves, 
with Spanish as the common tongue 
in the district. Vasquez and Lopez 
spent several nights idling about the 
ornate clubs, gambling casinos, cafes 
and bolita joints. 

They reported back that Valdez had 
been well known in the settlement, 
but only as a hard working, success- 
ful fruit broker. He had belonged to 
no secret fraternities or clubs, nor 
had he incurred the enmity of any- 
one. 

"In Ybor City they are talking only 
of the coming revolution in Cuba," 



reported Lopez. "It seems that many 
refugees are already reaching Flor- 
ida. There's 'very little interest in the 
Valdez murder." 

"Well, we're interested in it," de- 
clared Bush. "Mighty interested. 
Mrs. Valdez has gone to the hospital 
suffering from shock." 

And on the night of October 7th, 
Ybor City again entered the Valdez 
mystery in a puzzling manner. At 
1 1 : 00 p. m on that night, Garcia's 
Restaurant, deep within the Latin 
settlement, was held up by five 
masked men. Lining up 37 patrons 
against a wall, the bandits relieved 
them of cash and valuables totaling 
$48.00. 

Two of the bandits, wearing gloves, 
rifled the office safe. Calmly, delib- 
erately, they searched every paper 
and box in the safe. They finally 
took $69.00 in cash. The quintet then 
went out through the kitchen. One 
man kept his gun on the patrons and 
personnel in the dining room while 
the others loaded several crates of 
avocado pears into the back of a black 
sedan. The quintet made their es- 
cape in the car. 

A DESCRIPTION of the two men 
who had rifled the safe fitted in 
a general sort of way the two who 
had killed Valdez. Both had worn 
dark clothes, both had worn hand- 
kerchiefs over the lower parts of 
their faces and the ringleader had had 
blazing, violent black eyes. 

"That was the restaurant where 
Valdez stopped to have coffee on the 
night he was murdered," Bush pointed 
out, reading the report. "If you re- 
member, this restaurant was one of 
Valdez's steady customers." 

"And those two guys in the dark 
clothes worked pretty smooth," added 
Detective Vasquez. "Such as wear- 
ing gloves and taking plenty of time 
to look through that safe. It was a 
professional job, all right. And the 
Valdez killers weren't arhateurs, 
either." 

"But what gets me," frowned Bush, 
"is these damned avocado pears again. 
Why would a gang of heisters take 
time to lug away several crates of 
avocados? It's as good as our old 
question; why would a couple of 
murderers slit open a lot of avocados 
and leave them lying around the Val- 
dez home? I feel that these two cases 
are connected in some crazy way." 

"In the Valdez case the killers took 
no money," Detective Lopez reminded 
Jjim, "and Valdez had a wad in his 
pockets. They did take some jew- 
elry, but they later threw it way." 

Bush's eyes narrowed, his fingers 
drummed the desk top. 

"Because that wasn't what they 
wanted," he guessed shrewdly. "They 
made it look like a bungled robbery, 
but they were after something they 
didn't find in Valdez's home. This 
restaurant stickup could have been a 
phoney, too. They could have been 
looking for something besides money. 
I don't know what, but it seems to be 
something connected with a\ ocado 
pears." 

"Valdez's avocado pears?" asked 
Vasquez. "Or, just any avocados?" 

"Valdez's avocados," was Bush's 
theory, "since this restaurant was one 
of his customers." 

"In that event," Lopez put in 
quickly, "if they didn't get what they 
want from this restaurant job, they 
will make another play for some of 
Valdez's fruit." 



Bush nodded vigorously. "They 
may, at that! I want a man to hang 
out at every place where Valdez's 
avocados are being sold or served — 
restaurants, clubs, hotels, fruit stands, 
anywhere. If anyone acts suspicious 
-—examines the fruit, or buys a large 
quantity of it — bring him in'" 

In the meantime an effort was made 
to pick up the trail of the five men 
who had held up the restaurant. A 
dragnet was thrown over Ybor City. 
Bush went to the Garcia's restaurant 
and talked with the manager about 
the two crimes. 

"I knew Valdez only as a business 
acquaintance, Senor," the manager 
told him. "He sold me avocados. On 
the last night he was here, we had 
coffee in my office, discussed his next 
delivery of fruit, and then he left. I 
know nothing about his personal af- 
fairs." 

"What about his fruit?" persisted 
Bush. "Was there anything about it 
that made it greatly desired over some 
other dealer's? Something that gave 
it an unusual, tremendous value?" 

The manager shrugged, spread his 
palms. "Certainly not, Senor. It was 
just good, ripe fruit:— and Senor Val- 
dez was dependable. Does that an- 
swer your question, Senor?" 

"No," replied Bush, more to him- 
self than the other, "but I don't think 
the answer lies here. It's somewhere 
else along the trail of Armando Val- 
dez's avocados." 

The Detective Chief went next to 
the steamship company that ferried 
Valdez's fruit from Cuba to Tampa. 
It had been shipped across the Gulf in 
a small freighter. 

A talk with the ship's captain gained 
nothing. In Cuba, the fruit had been 
delivered to the docks and placed 
aboard the ship by stevedores. So 
far as ithe captain knew, there had 
been nothing irregular about this 
procedure. 

A talk with one of the ship's deck 
hands, however, did gain something. 

"Senor, I recall a strange incident 
on the day that Valdez's shipment of 
fruit was unloaded," this individual 
told Bush. "A man approached me 
and asked if we had brought one 
special crate of pears along with Val- 
dez's shipment. He said that the crate 
would bear a special tag — that is, one 
half of a tag. This man had one half 
of a tag himself and said that he could 
identify the crate by matching the two 
halves. 

"I told him that I knew of no such 
crate, and advised that he should in- 
quire of the Captain. But this man 
insisted that first we should locate 
this special crate with the special tag. 
He paid me ten dollars to help him 
examine all of the crates that had 
been asembled on the dock. When 
we could not find this particular crate 
of pears, Senor, the man became very 
angry and left quickly." 

"Did this man tell you his name?" 
Bush asked quickly. "And who had 
sent this special crate from Cuba?" 

The sailor shook his head. "No. 
Senor. He merely said that it had 
been sent by a friend from Cuba who 
wanted him to have one case of choice 
pears, and that he could identify it 
by the torn half of the tag. But I 
could not understand, Senor, why one 
should become so angry over a single 
case of pears." 

The seaman described the stranger 
as a Cuban, of average height, dressed 
in a white linen suit, wearing a straw 
hat. "His eyes, Senor? Yes, they were 



very black, very hard eyes. But that 
is all I remember. I had never seen 
this man before. Senor, nor have I 
seen him since." 

A short time later" Bush sat in his 
office surrounded by detectives who 
had been working on the case. He told 
of what he had learned at the water- 
front. 

"My guess is that something was 
smuggled in that special crate of 
pears that came across with Valdez's 
shipment. Apparently the tag came 
off during transit and the box got 
mixed up with Valdez's fruit." 

Lopez agreed. "The man with the 
tag is probably the killer." he said. 
"That's why the pears in Valdez's 
house were slit open. When they 
didn't find their smuggled stuff there, 
they next tried one of Valdez's big- 
gest customers, the restaurant." 

"It could have been dope." sug- 
gested Vasquez. "I've never heard of 
dope being smuggled in avocados, but 
it could easily be done by removing 
the seed." 

"Whatever it contained, we're going 
to try and find that special crate our- 
selves," declared Bush. "You men 
start looking over the avocados at all 
of the places operated by Valdez's 
customers. If you see any individual 
pears, or crates, that are suspicious, 
buy 'em and bring 'em in." 

IT TOOK several days, and many 
cases of opened avocados before the 
right one was finally found, at a 
small fruit stand on a side street in 
Ybor City. The detective who brought 
it in, explained; 

"The pears in all of the other boxes 
are packed in rows. But in this one 
they are jammed in tight in the cen- 
ter. So I thought we'd better look 
this box over." 

In Bush's office, the detectives be- 
gan slicing the pears in half, discard- 
ing them. Finally a detective picked 
out an unusually large pear from the 
center of the box. It immediately fell 
apart in his hands. The large seed 
had been removed from the pear's 
center. In it's place was an oilskin 
pouch. The detective opened the 
pouch, poured the contents out on 
Bush's desk. 

"Holy catfish, so that's the answer!" 
Bush exclaimed. 

All of the officers gasped in amaze- 
ment. At last, the strange mystery 
of the avocados had been solved. For 
out of the oilskin pouch cascaded a 
small fortune in jewels; diamonds, 
rubies, pearls, sapphires, emeralds! 

"This box was packed tight in the 
center to hold the slit pear together," 
Vasquez pointed out. "No wonder 
Valdez was murdered, if they thought 
he had all this ice!"' 

"And this explains why they dis- 
carded Mrs. Valdez's jewelry in the 
alley," said Detective Morris. "This 
was the stuff they were after, so why 
take a chance on getting caught with 
that cheaper stuff?" 

Bush calmed down. "We still don't 
know who killed Valdez," he said 
grimly. "You boys go back and 
shadow those fruit places again. 

"Bring in any guy who seems to be 
looking for what we've got here." 

This day and night vigil at the fruit 
stands brought in several suspects who 
seemed to have an unusual interest in 
avocado pears. One by one, they were 
checked out after presenting iron-clad 
alibis. Finally only one remained, a 
short swarthy individual who gave 
his name as Mario Zarate. He had 



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been picked up while examining 
closely a crate of pears at an Ybor 
City market. 

"So what?" he demanded angrily, 
when brought to headquarters. "I am 
very fond of avocados. So are hun- 
dreds of other people. And I always 
look 'em over closely to make sure 
they are ripe. Is that any crime?" 

"Not in itself," admitted Bush. "But 
we'd like to ask you a few questions." 

Zarate fitted in a general way the 
description of the Valdez killer, as 
well as one of the restaurant holdup 
men. He indignantly disclaimed any 
knowledge of either affair and the 
smuggled gems. Mrs. Valdez was too 
ill in the hospital to have a look at 
him, so Bush called in Poston, the 
neighbor. 

"I can't be sure about him," Poston 
declared, after looking at the suspect. 
"He's about the same height and build 
as the man who ran out of the alley, 
but, like I said, I didn't get a look at 
at their faces." 

The witnesses in the restaurant hold- 
up were equally uncertain; not sure 
one way or the other. Bush had Zarate 
mugged and fingerprinted and checked 
the result with the print that had been 
found on the kitchen screen in the 
Valdez home. The prints were not 
the same. 

Bush told two of his detectives, "I'm 
not sure about this Zarate, but we 
don't have any evidence on which to 
hold him longer. I'm going to turn 
him loose, and I want you boys to 
shadow him closely. If he's not one 
of the men we want, he might at least 
lead us to the others." 

The released suspect led his two 
tails on a winding trail through Ybor 
City, in and out of a bar, a gambling 
casino, a Cuban club, into the streets 
again. Grimly, the two detectives 
clung to their quarry. But that eve- 
ning a heavy tropical downpour and 
electrical storm blanketed Ybor City. 
For a brief five minutes the city cur- 
rent went off, blacking out the settle- 
ment. When it came on again, Zarate 
had vanished. The detectives were un- 
able to pick up his trail again during 
the days that followed. 

Bush was now strongly suspicious 
of the vanished suspect. "If he had 
stuck around town in sight, he would 
have been okay," declared the Chief. 
"But now that he skipped, he becomes 
hot again. We've got his mug and 
prints; I'm going to get out some flyers 
on that guy." 

Bush sent out thousands of circulars 
on Zarate, directing a good portion of 
them to Cuba, Mexico, Central and 
South America. But months passed, 
and the suspect's trail still remained 
cold. Mrs. Valdez recovered from her 
illness and returned to Havana. She 
told Bush before she left that she 
knew nothing about the gems found 
in the avocado pear. 

In spite of widespread publicity on 
the strange case, no person came for- 
ward to claim the precious stones. 
Detectives Vasquez and Lopez, close 
to sources of information in Ybor City, 
soon provided a logical answer. 

UNREST and revolution were brew- 
ing in Cuba. Political opposition 
to President Gerardo Machado was 
strong and already outbursts of vio- 
lence were taking place. The in- 
evitable looting and confiscation of 
wealth was soon to follow. Many 
wealthy refugees were seeking safety 
on the Florida mainland. The govern- 
ment would not permit them to take 



money or valuables out of the country. 
It seemed likely that one of these 
refugees had attempted to smuggle his 
jewels in the crate of avocado pears. 
The murderers of Armando Valdez 
must have learned of the precious 
shipment and made an attempt to 
hijack it. 

"For the owner of the jewels to 
come forward now and claim them 
would only make him -another target 
for the killer's bullets," pointed out 
Lopez. "Perhaps after we get the 
killer, he will then claim them." 

On the afternoon of February 11, 
1933, Mrs. Valdez was walking along 
Havana's famous waterfront prom- 
enade, the Malecon, when she was 
slightly jostled by a man who passed 
her in the crowd. Mrs. Valdez turned, 
saw the man, then blanched white. 

"Those eyes!" she suddenly 
screamed, pointing. "That is the man 
who killed my husband! I have never 
forgotten those eyes!" 

Police officers came running, quickly 
searched the crowd, but the man 
whom Mrs. Valdez had seen had dis- 
appeared. 

Chief Bush, as soon as he received 
this report, dispatched Detectives 
Vasquez and Lopez to aid the Cuban 
authorities in picking up the long- 
sought killer's trail. A painstaking 
search , throughout the dives and 
shabby buildings of Havana's teeming 
waterfront finally led to a dingy 
rooming house in a side street near 
the Malecon. There, in a back room 
of this house, 'he officers closed in 
on a man who seemed to be the one 
Mrs. Valdez had seen on the street. 

Taken to Havana police headquar- 
ters, this man was placed in a lineup 
with several other suspects. Mrs. Val- 
dez was called in to see if she could 
identify her husband's slayer from 
the group. Quickly, unerringly, her 
finger pointed to the man who had 
been captured in the waterfront 
rooming house, the same one she had 
seen on the Malecon. 

'That is the man!" she cried posi- 
tively. "Those eyes I will never for- 
get!" 

The man she identified was Mario 
Zarate! In Zarate's room was found 
a .32 calibre pistol. A ballistics check 
promptly identified it as the gun that 
had killed Armando Valdez. 

Vasquez and Lopez brought Zarate 
back from Cuba on February 20, 1933. 
Again the prisoner denied any knowl- 
edge of the Valdez murder, the Garcia 
Restaurant holdup, the smuggled 
gems. He also denied ownership of 
the gun, claiming it had been in the 
room at the time he rented it. 

Zarate was charged with the Valdez 
murder and held for trial. It was then 
that a wealthy Cuban refugee in 
Miami came forward to claim the 
jewels. They had been confiscated, 
he declared, by a rival political group 
and he had been held in prison for 
a year on a trumped-up charge. This* 
refugee established full ownership of 
the jewels to the Tampa officers' satis- 
faction and they were further con- 
vinced that he had no knowledge of 
Mario Zarate. 

Zarate was not brought to trial until 
May, 1935, due to Cuba's internal dis- 
orders and the resultant difficulty in 
locating and bringing witnesses to the 
United States. Finally, however, on 
May 31, 1935, in the Hillsborough 
County Circuit Court in Tampa, a 
jury declared Mario Zarate guilty oi 
murder in the first degree with a 
recommendation of mercy. 



He was sentenced to life imprison- 
ment in the Florida State Prison at 
Raiford, where he is still serving his 
time. 

The Tampa police are still seeking 
the second killer who left his finger- 



print on the Valdez window screen. 
If their determination in capturing 
Mario Zarate is any evidence, they 
will some day nab him. 

The End 



MYSTERY OF THE NUDE NYMPH 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 



she could not have seen her friend 
after three o'clock of the day she dis- 
appeared. Plungis' story was also 
checked carefully as a matter of police 
routine and there could be no doubt 
that he was telling the truth when he 
said he'd not been away from the 
factory after arriving there to go to 
work at 3:30. 

DETECTIVES McElligott and Mc- 
Carthy late Saturday dug up one 
fact which proved highly interest- 
ing to the Inspector. While question- 
ing residents in the vicinity of Plun- 
gis' home they learned that at a few 
minutes after sundown on Wednesday 
night a car believed to be Tony Plun- 
gis' had driven up to the side of the 
house. That would have been between 
7:15 and 7:30 o'clock. 

"A woman who might well have 
been Stephanie Plungis, it was too 
dark and foggy to see clearly, got out 
and started yelling," they were told. 

"Calling someone?" suggested the 
detective sergeant. "Did you hear any 
name mentioned?" 

He was informed that the woman 
had shouted for someone to come to 
her car, calling the person addressed 
a "dirty schlemiel," a foreign word 
meaning "dope." 

The informant said that she had not 
listened longer. Sometime later, how- 
ever, this woman had heard the sound 
of arguing from the direction of the 
Plungis' back yard. 

Plungis himself said that to his 
knowledge no one had been near his 
home during his absence and he was 
the only person who had a key to the 
place since his wife had left him. 

Continuing their investigation in 
the neighborhood, the detectives went 
to the home of Patrolman Zukauskas, 
directly to the rear of the other house. 
There they questioned the policeman's 
wife who told them that she had been 
home all day Wednesday with a sick 
child. Later her husband had come in 
and gone to bed with a cold. That was 
at just seven o'clock and Edna Zu- 
kauskas then went out to a neigh- 
borhood store for food for supper. 

The policeman's wife had heard no 
commotion while she was at the 
house. Detectives returned to head- 
quarters to ask her husband if he had 
heard anything of the supposed com- 
motion but Zukauskas said he'd been 
in bed with a splitting headache and 
heard nothing. 

Zukauskas added two names to the 
list already compiled of suspected boy 
friends of the missing woman. He said 
that he had known the Plungis fam- 
ily for several years and that the hus- 
band had frequent quarrels with his 
wife because of her "chasing after 
younger men." 

One of the men named by the pa- 
trolman was known to possess a .38- 
calibre revolver. He had told the of- 
ficer on the day after the disappear- 
ance that he had to leave the city to 
find a job in a neighboring town. He 



had not been seen since in Waterbury. 

"Did this fellow ever admit to you 
that he was running around with 
your neighbor's wife? ' asked Inspec- 
tor Bendler. 

"Not only admitted it, but asked me 
to follow her and another guy out to 
a spot on Lover's Lane several weeks 
ago and take notes on what I saw 
them do there. He said the woman 
was two-timing him and he wasn't 
going to stand for it. You'd have 
thought he was her husband himself, 
by the way he acted." 

"And you obliged him?" asked the 
Inspector. 

"Yes; I found her out there necking 
the other fellow and warned my 
friend he'd better stay away from her 
after that." 

Bendler, thinking of the ,38-calbre 
gun which Officer Zukauskas had 
seen in the suitor's possession, was 
aware that the laboratory technicians 
who had examined bullet holes in the 
car might have been mistaken in their 
conclusions. 

He thought also, that it was strange 
Zukauskas had not heard that argu- 
ment not a hundred feet from his bed- 
room window. Zukauskas himself 
must have been pretty familiar with 
the woman and her clandestine af- 
fairs to have volunteered to make 
that Lovers' Lane expedition, Bendler 
concluded. 

Wasn't it possible, he wondered, 
that Zukauskas had done his snoop- 
ing because of some more personal in- 
terest in the case? He turned to his 
men and suggested thoughtfully: 

"You know, the boy's maybe wrong 
about that being a .32-calibre re- 
volver." 

As he spoke Bendler withdrew from 
his desk the seat cover in which the 
two bullet holes had been discovered. 
He asked the other to follow him, 
and went to the basement of the 
building where a shooting gallery had 
been rigged up for use of the police. 
There he turned once more to Zu- 
kauskas. 

"Got your service revolver with 
you?" He referred to the .38 police 
special that had been issued to the 
patrolman when he was taken on the 
force in a temporary capacity the year 
before. 

Zukauskas nodded and the Inspec- 
tor asked him for the gun. The next 
moment he fired a single shot through 
the seat cover. 

"That ought to tell us if a .32 was 
used," he said easily. 

Zukauskas agreed eagerly and the 
two of them bent forward to study 
the hole. Inspector Bendler had 
brought the pieces cut earlier from 
the seat cover and containing the 
other two holes. 

Even without the aid of measuring 
instruments it was instantly apparent 
to both men that the bullets which had 
made those first two holes had been 
considerably smaller in calibre than 
that fired from Zukauskas' revolver. 



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"Well, that should pretty well clear 
your friend with the .38," Bendler 
said evenly. "Unless, of course, he 
had another weapon." 

Following the bullet-hole test the 
Inspector called the two detectives. 
For several hours he went over the 
list of names they had gathered and 
listened to the stories told by those 
questioned. A strange coincidence in 
the statements taken from all ap- 
peared to be that each man, while ad- 
mitting readily enough that he had 
taken the woman out at one time or 
another, insisted on telling tales about 
her other suitors. 

Stephanie Plungis, it appeared, had 
attracted the attention of a score of 
men other than her husband. In 
almost every case there had been 
hints of jealousy, and yet among those 
questioned, all were able to prove that 
they were not near the woman on the 
night of her disappearance. 

Bendler realized that the only men 
whose stories he had not run down 
were those named by Officer Zukaus- 
kas. He gave the detectives their 
names and the name of the town to 
which the owner of the .38 said he 
was going to look for work. 

THE following day McCarthy and 
McElligott were questioning the 
man himself. They repeated Zu- 
kauskas' story of the revolver and 
asked to see the weapon. The man 
swore that he'd never possessed any 
kind of a gun. Questioned about the 
time he had supposedly asked the po- 
liceman to spy on his married girl 
friend, the man laughed outright. 

"Asked him to spy on her!" he re- 
peated at last. "Why, you couldn't 
keep him from it. More than once 
Steffi told me he followed her when 
she took men in her husband's car for 
necking parties. The guy was crazy 
over her himself. But of course, living 
there right behind them with his own 
wife and kids, he had to keep it on 
the quiet. He was one of the few guys 
who wasn't even suspected by Tony 
Plungis." 

"You realize, don't you, what you're 
saying casts suspicion on one of the 
very policemen assigned to investigate 
this case?" asked Sergeant McCarthy 
gravely. 

"I realized that Francis Zukauskas 
was the man who had most -to fear 
from- Stephanie," the other replied, 
suddenly serious. "She threatened to 
expose him if he didn't stop chasing 
after her. He was insanely jealous of 
her, but didn't dare start anything for 
fear it would get out and he'd lose 
his job. And I realize that he was the 
one man who had the gun to shoot 
her with!" 

"Zukauskas" revolver has been 
checked; it wasn't that gun that fired 
holes in the Plungis' car," countered 
Detective McElligott shortly. 

"No? Well how about the .32 he had 
before he went on the force?" 

The detectives, after further ques- 
tioning of the suspect, realized that 
what he said, if true, might well put 
them on the track to a quick and un- 
expected solution of the mystery. 
They were still further convinced 
when the man proved that he had left 
Waterbury early on the afternoon of 
the crime and could account for every 
minute of his time since then. 

Within another three hours they 
were back in conference with In- 
spector Bendler and Prosecutor Fitz- 
gerald. Early the next day the In- 
spector called at the Zukauskas home. 
He timed his visit so that he arrived 



just after the patrolman had left for 
work. Edna Zukauskas, the quiet, 
home-loving young wife of the officer, 
met him at the door. 

An hour's questioning brought out 
the fact that on the previous Wednes- 
day evening her husband had been 
absent from their home during two 
one-hour periods. Both times he'd 
said he was going out to "get some 
fresh air." 

Mrs. Zukauskas said that her hus- 
band had owned several revolvers, 
but she was unable to tell the Inspec- 
tor where he might find them. They 
had disappeared within the past few 
days from the drawer where they 
were kept. 

As he turned to leave. Bendler. 
with an eye on the woman who was 
preceding him to the front door, 
stopped suddenly and reached toward 
the floor. When he rose he held a 
small linen handkerchief in his hand. 

"Your handkerchief, Mrs. Zukaus- 
kas." he said. "Must have dropped it 
as you got up." 

The woman turned, not a trace of 
suspicion in her eyes. "Thank you, 
Inspector." She took the handker- 
chief and placed it in the pocket of 
her apron. 

As she took the handkerchief the 
Inspector saw her glance idly down 
at it. Had it not been her own she'd 
certainly have betrayed that fact by 
the expression in her eyes. 

That could mean only one thing. 
The handkerchief found stuffed down 
behind the rear seat cushion of the 
Plungis' car on the 'night following 
Stephanie Plungis' mysterious disap- 
pearance was the property of Patrol- 
man Zukauskas' wife! 

BACK AT headquarters the Inspec- 
tor called Patrolman Zukauskas in 
off his beat and announced he had 
a few questions to put to him. Why, 
for instance, had he not mentioned the 
other revolvers he owned? Why had 
he said nothing about his friendship 
with the victim? 

For more than six hours the Inspec- 
tor continued to grill the man, but it 
was only after he called in fingerprint 
experts that the other showed any 
signs of breaking. It was then that 
Bendler played his ace in the hole. 

"Francis," he said, "you're a police- 
man and you will be able to appreci- 
ate the value of laboratory findings. 
You'll be able to appreciate the fact 
that some of the fingerprints we found 
in the car were on the light switch. 
That means that the man who left 
them must have turned on the lights. 
Now, when Plungis found his car 
where it had been left during the 
night, persumably by the person or 
persons responsible for his wife's dis- 
appearance, it was already daylight 
and he had no reason to use the lights. 

"Later, when he called you to ex- 
amine the car, you naturally left 
prints on the door handle and in other 
places. But it was still daylight. Cer- 
tainly you'd have had no reason to 
touch the light switch. 

"Why, then, have we found your 
fingerprints on that switch? When I 
talked with your wife this morning 
she accepted the handkerchief found 
in the back of the car as belonging to 
her. Why did she tell us you'd been 
away from the house twice on 
Wednesday night after you clearly 
stated you'd been sick in bed that 
evening?" 

Francis Zukauskas since joining the 
department had made a point of 
studying modern police procedure. He 



was the last man to fail to appreciate 
the significance of the evidence which 
had been piled up against him. But it 
was only when Inspector Bendler 
hinted that the young wife he had be- 
trayed might be blamed for his own 
crime that Zukauskas finally broke. 

"All right I did it," he said softly. 
"Let my wife alone, whatever she did 
was only because she wanted to save 
the woman who broke up our home. 
Edna is completely innocent, leave her 
out of this thing and I'll tell you 
everything. I'll take you out where I 
hid the body after kiling her!" 

THE STORY that followed was one of 
the most bizarre ever listened to by 
the veteran homicide investigator. 
It started on a night more than a year 
before when Francis Zukauskas had 
attended a dance in the Waterbury 
Lithuanian Hall. He had been assigned 
there as a special policeman. He had 
met his neighbor's wife, Stephanie 
Plungis, at the dance. It had been love 
or what the 34-year-old policeman 
took for love at first sight. 

That had been their first night to- 
gether, and during the following 
months Zukauskas' passion for the at- 



tractive, large-bosomed blonde had 
increased. He'd learned of her infidel- 
ities to himself as well as her hus- 
band, became madly jealous, and quar- 
reled violently with her. 

Finally, months later, the patrol- 
man's own wife had become sus- 
picious, accused him of faithlessness 
and threatened to expose him. A rec- 
onciliation followed and he'd promised 
to leave Stephanie alone. 

But the man had not taken into ac- 
count Stephanie's passions. Time and 
again she'd called him, threatened 
trouble if he refused to continue their 
affair. Then, on the evening of No- 
vember first, Zukauskas had been re- 
turning to his home when the woman 
drove up behind him in her husband's 
car, shouted for him to come to her. 

"You're going out with me tonight, 
you schlemiel, or I'll tell everything 
to your wife!" he accused her of 
crying. 

"She already knows," was the man's 
reply. 

"Okeh, so I'll take my story to your 
chief. I'll get your job this time." 

Crazed with fear and anger, Zu- 
kauskas struck out. The woman fought 
back and finally Zukauskas tore him- 



MISTAKEN IDENTITY 




Baloit, Wis. — Deloret Marie Elder, 26, confessed to police that she stabbed 
"the wrong woman" daring a fit of jealousy. She said she meant to kill 
her rival for her bartender boyfriend's Iota. Victim was the mediator. 




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SUSPENSE I 
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ACTION! 
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You'll find plenty of suspense, mystery, action and drama in the December 
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self away. But the woman followed 
him. She was still screaming at him. 
"Zukauskas pulled a small .32 from his 
pocket and ordered her to leave him 
alone." 

"The next moment the gun went 
off," his confession read. "I realized 
I'd shot her and fired once more, 
almost automatically. I thought of 
casning her to the hospital. I man- 
aged to get her in the car. 1 must have 
dropped my wife's handkerchief in 
the car at that time. 

"Next moment she had revived and 
started screaming I'd killed her. I 
must have gone completely crazy 
then. I reached for my revolver and 
emptied it into her body. She slumped 
down on the front seat. I still intend- 
ed to take her to the hospital. But 
instead, I drove around for more than . 
an hour. I knew then that she was 
dead. Finally I stopped and undressed 
her, wrapped her clothes in the blan- 
ket I found in the car." 

Zukauskas had returned then to his 
home, told his wife to call headquar- 
ters and say he was ill and wouldn't 
be able to take his tour of dutv. An 
hour later he returned to the car. 
drove this time to a lonely country 
lane near the village of Middlebury. 
There he removed the body, took the 
shovel he'd brought from home and 
dug a shallow grave. 

"Before I buried her I took the 
shovel and smashed in her face. It 
was horrible, but I had to do it to pre- 
vent identification if the body should 
be found." 

On the way back to the city Zu- 
kauskas had taken the revolver* apart 
and, along with the bundle of clothing, 
had tossed it in a creek 

In February of 1945 Francis Zu- 
kauskas went on trial before a tri- 
bunal of three Superior Court judges 
charged with murder in the first de- 
gree. The man's lawyer said his client 
admitted the crime, but claimed onlv 
second degree murder was justified 
under the circumstances. After less 
than three hours' deliberation the 
judges, however, agreed with the 
prosecutor and sentenced him to die 
in Wethersfield State Prison two* 
months later. 

Numerous legal steps were taken in 
an effort to save the slayer's life, and 
on April 9th, 1946, exactly forty-eight 
hours before he" was finally scheduled 
to die in the electric chair, the State 
Board of Pardons finally commuted 
the sentence to life in prison. 

Edna Zukauskas was completely in- 
nocent in the case and was cleared of 
any blame whatsoever. 

The End 



READ IN THE 
JANUARY ISSUE OF 

1CENS0RED DETECTIVE 

"ENIGMA OF THE 

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By D. L. CHAMPION 



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YOU In: 

MEASURING INSTRUMENT 
yourself early in the course— use it for 
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dios to pick up EXTRA 
Spare time moni 



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Sample Lesson I 



You build this superhetero- 
dyne CIRCUIT that brinj 
local and distant station 
eet pract: 
tin?; set througl 



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Gives hints on Receiver Servic- 
ing. Locating Defects, Repair of 
Loudspeaker. IJ\ Transformer. 
Gang Tuner. Condenser, etc.. 31 
illustration? Study it— keep it- 
use it— without obligation! Mail 
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Mr. J. E. SMITH, President, Dept. 6NL7 

National Radio Institute, Washington 9. D. C. 

Mail me FREE, without obligation. Sample Lesson and 

84-page book about how to win success in Radio 

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